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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 19 November 2012

Flood-stricken Bangladeshi to get food aid and livelihood support thanks to new EU assistance

The European Commission is boosting its aid to the victims of major floods in Bangladesh. The Commission will give an additional €1 million for food and livelihood support for around 49,000 vulnerable households while they recover from the flood impact in the worst affected areas of the north-western region of the country.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response said: "The floods came again at the worst possible time – the lean season, when food was already short, income opportunities reduced, and the prices at their highest. Vulnerable households, such as those of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers, are suffering additional hardships. These people desperately need help and we cannot leave their call unanswered".

The European Commission has already committed more than €22 million for humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh for 2012.

The new funding announced today will help the affected households get enough to eat, keep their assets and stay home rather than migrate to look for jobs elsewhere. The Commission's aid will bring food assistance and cash transfers to 17,500 households, and livelihood support in the form of unconditional cash grants to 31,500 households.

The projects will be implemented through humanitarian partner organisations in the region which include UN agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Background

In late September, the north-western region of Bangladesh was hit by floods for the third time this year, at a time when households were already experiencing food shortages and struggling to make an income due to the impact of previous floods (at the end of June 2012 and mid-July 2012).

Bangladesh, a mostly low-lying country with the world's highest population density, is extremely vulnerable to the impact of climate change and frequent natural disasters. The monsoon floods of 2011 affected over a million people and displaced some 200,000. Several areas in the south-western part of the country remain water-logged, with people in need of food and livelihood support. In 2012, flash floods in the south-east also damaged the habitat, water and sanitation facilities and the livelihood of around 1.3 Million people.

The European Commission has been active with humanitarian aid in Bangladesh for many years, focusing both on disaster preparedness and emergency response.

For more information

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

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

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)


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