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Update on Cyclone Sidr crisis

The current death toll after Cyclone Sidr has been put at 2,982. As well as the three million houses that have been wiped out, over 2.6 million hectares of crops have been damaged or destroyed. About a hundred thousand hectares of the Sundarbans forest has been badly damaged.

Many people are now facing acute shortages of food and fresh drinking water.

The Bangladeshi government, as well as sanctioning funds for housing, will launch a special Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme for cyclone-affected people from 1 December. Under the programme, 2.59 million VGF cards will be distributed. The VGF card will entitle the holders to get 15kg of rice a month. Over 730 medical teams are working in the affected areas. The armed forces are working with the government to provide relief for the people, and restore the utilities and communications.

After two floods this year, Bangladesh’s economy will be hard hit, and the government has welcomed assistance from the international community. The UN, EU, Germany, USA, UK, Saudi Arabia and others have expressed a commitment to funding the disaster response. 

Concern’s relief operations

Concern is currently providing 26,000 families in the Barguna and Patuakhali districts with a relief package including both food and non-food material. Concern has identified the families most in need of help and is prioritising areas where the response by other organisations may be limited. The relief operation is being implemented through three partner organisations – Speed Trust, Dhaka Ahsania Mission and Sangram.

Concern staff and partner organisation staff continue to assess the extent of the disaster and identify the areas and communities which need help acutely, keeping in mind the need to avoid duplication with relief operations by other NGOs.