BANGLADESH (Plan International) - Following landslides and floods triggered by heavy rains in Bangladesh, Plan International is responding to the basic needs of 6,000 of the poorest and hardest hit families with emergency cash transfers.
At least 121 people died and thousands more were stranded last week after monsoon rains intensified, bringing water from upstream and swelling rivers to bursting point.
Houses were washed away while villages and crop fields were inundated. Families who sought shelter on higher ground were in urgent need of food and water, reported local media.
“We monitored the situation closely and after assessing the extent of the damage, concluded it was large enough that the government would need support from relief organisations to meet the needs of affected children and their families,” said Myrna Evora, country director of Plan Bangladesh.
Building from previous experience working with disasters-affected communities, Plan is distributing emergency cash transfers to families in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts in the north and Cox’s Bazar in the southeast part of Bangladesh.
As these are districts Plan does not normally work in, official approval is being sought before distribution can begin, likely within the next 2 days.
Bangladesh is a flood-prone country regularly affected by disasters, after which life usually returns to normal fairly quickly, especially in places like local markets.
Recipients of cash transfers, who typically buy things like seeds, animals, medicine or food, say they appreciate the freedom to choose what they buy, rather than having to make do with what they’re given.
The initial response, with a budget of US$500,000, will reach up to 40,000 people and should take about a week and a half to complete once approval to respond in all of the districts has been granted.
Some 11 members of Plan’s emergency response team have been deployed to the 3 districts to support the assessment and response along with other non-governmental organisations.
For further information contact:
Communications Specialist Paul Subrata Malakar
Phone: +880 2 9860167 ext 148