Representative image

Flooding affects over 7 mln people in Bangladesh: UN

Jul 09, 2022

Dhaka [Bangladesh], July 9: An estimated 7.2 million people have been severely affected following devastating flash floods which began in May with a second wave starting around June 15 in northeastern districts of Bangladesh, the United Nations said Wednesday.
The UN said in a statement that among the nine districts, the most heavily impacted five districts are Sylhet, Sunamganj, Moulivazar, Habiganj and Netrakona.
According to the statement, the Bangladeshi government has evacuated over 472,000 people to some 1,605 shelter centers.
There is a large-scale coordinated response operation under the Bangladeshi government's strong leadership, it said.
The UN and NGO partners are supporting these efforts by delivering food assistance, drinking water, cash, emergency drugs, water purification tablets, dignity and hygiene kits and education support to the affected families, the UN said.
On July 2-3, a joint mission of the UN, humanitarian donors, and NGO partners visited the flood-affected districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj.
According to the statement, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is on the ground to protect children and to deliver safe water, nutrition and health services and supplies.
UNICEF re-allocated 2.8 million U.S. dollars of internal resources to meet the emergency needs and has provided life-saving support to nearly 1 million people.
Also, the World Food Program (WFP) distributed 85 tons of fortified biscuits to 34,000 households in three districts.
Apart from this, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has provided referral support for pregnant women to access hospitals and positioned midwives to provide 24/7 emergency obstetric support.
UNFPA is also operating maternity waiting homes for pregnant women while they wait for institutional delivery.
And the World Health Organization (WHO) provided 250,000 water purification tablets to the affected people.
Despite these efforts, and due to the scale of the floods, there are areas still inaccessible that are cut off from rescue or relief, said the UN.
The shelters remain overcrowded as the flood waters recede slowly and the damage to homes is widespread. This has resulted in a lack of space and privacy which leaves women, girls and children particularly vulnerable.
In addition, some 60,000 women in the affected areas are pregnant. Of them, some 6,500 will give birth in the next month. With primary healthcare centers submerged and non-functional, most of these women have limited or no access to healthcare.
Where water has receded somewhat, more families will return to damaged homes, other will have to rebuild from scratch. Damaged latrines and water sources will also need to be repaired.
Children have lost three weeks of schooling already and their books have gotten washed away. This comes on top of the loss of schooling due to the COVID-related school closures in 2020-2021.
The UN said the Humanitarian Response Plan appeals for 58.4 million U.S. dollars to provide essential needs for over 1.5 million targeted people in five heavily-impacted districts.
The Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh, on behalf of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), on Wednesday donated 200,000 U.S. dollars to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) to assist those affected by the recent floods.
Source: Xinhua