Brussels, 1 October 2012
EU increases humanitarian funding for victims of Bangladesh monsoon floods
The European Union is providing additional funding of €4 million to ensure the continuation of emergency assistance to the people of Bangladesh affected by the monsoon floods and landslides which hit the south-eastern part of the country in June-July 2012. The aid is reaching over 250,000 victims, with a particular emphasis on the most vulnerable, including women, children, the elderly, the disabled and the marginalised.
"Many of the people affected by these floods were already in a very fragile situation, and have therefore not been able to compensate the losses incurred or regain a dignified way of living since the disaster struck. After their crops have been destroyed by the monsoon floods, some families are barely able to afford a single meal a day", said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Civil Protection and Crisis Response. "We have been monitoring this crisis throughout, and after extending support through our Small Scale Response mechanism over the last months, we are now boosting our aid to help these most vulnerable communities get back on their feet".
EU-funded relief efforts will target the three South-eastern districts of Chittagong, Bandarban and Cox's Bazar, where people continue to benefit from food and nutritional assistance, restoration of hygiene and sanitation facilities, shelter repair and early livelihood recovery programmes. The aid is being delivered through cash transfer programmes. These are designed to help victims meet their basic humanitarian needs and kick-start their ability to support themselves, whilst simultaneously enabling the restoration of houses and productive community infrastructure. Disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness components are also being integrated into these projects in order to try to increase the resilience of these communities to the impact of future natural disasters.
The delivery of aid funded by the European Commission department is being channelled through its humanitarian partners including UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent family and International Non-Government Organisations.
The additional funding announced today brings the European Commission's 2012 humanitarian contribution for Bangladesh to a total of €18.65 million.
Early July, three South-eastern districts of Bangladesh (Chittagong, Bandarban and Cox's Bazar) experienced particularly heavy rainfall, provoking the worst flooding and landslides in 60 years in this region. 122 people were killed and over 1.3 million affected. Since then, the displaced families have managed to return to their damaged houses, or are staying with friends and relatives. Already living on the edge before the disaster, many of them are financially unable to rebuild their houses, and have had no other choice but to adopt detrimental coping mechanisms such as reducing the number of meals, depleting their assets and borrowing from money-lenders.
For more information
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)