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IP/10/1745

Brussels, 17 December 2010

Commission allocates a further € 3 million in humanitarian aid for cyclone-affected Bangladeshi

Today the European Commission set aside an additional € 3 million in humanitarian aid for the communities affected by Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh. With this decision, the Commission's post-cyclone aid for assistance and early recovery in India and Bangladesh reaches € 15 million.

"The people of Bangladesh are among the most vulnerable to disasters like floods, monsoons and cyclones. European assistance can make a tangible difference to these communities' struggle to re-establish their livelihoods," said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

The devastating Cyclone Alia deprived of their homes hundreds of thousands people in Bangladesh last year, while this year's monsoon season exacerbated additionally this already serious humanitarian crisis. More than 18 months after the cyclone, many people continue to live under precarious conditions and are unable to return to their homes. The fishing and agriculture industries, which are the major sources of employment in the affected areas, have been severely damaged, which has considerably limited the opportunities of the local population.

Background

On 25 May 2009 the Cyclone Aila struck south Western Bangladesh and the Indian region of West Bengal. The European Commission reacted quickly, and has already provided € 12 million in humanitarian aid to Bangladesh only. The monsoon in June 2010 posed a new challenge for the victims of the cyclone, many of whom found themselves stranded on embankments and lacking shelter and means of sustenance.

For information on Commission's humanitarian aid:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm


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