Concern Worldwide is responding to devastating landslides and flooding in poverty-stricken Bangladesh that have so far killed over 135 people and left thousands homeless.
Ireland’s largest international aid agency, whose staff have been relieving poverty in Bangladesh since 1972, is helping those affected in the south east of the country after heavy monsoon rains.
Concern’s Regional Director for Asia and Middle East, Brid Kennedy, said:
“This is extremely devastating in an already very poor part of the country where many people live in extreme poverty in makeshift huts.
“Sadly, over 135 people have so far been killed, including women, children and the death toll is expected to continue to rise.
“Bangladesh is one of the countries that is worst affected by climate change and these floods compound the situation on an already very poor and vulnerable population.”
Concern’s Country Director in Bangladesh, A.K.M. Musha, said:
“The government of Bangladesh, the army, police, fire service and civil defence are managing the rescue operation and providing shelter, food and basic sanitation facilities for 4,500 people in the affected areas of Bandarban, Chittagong and Rangamati.
“We are responding through our partner organisation on the ground, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), providing support to the government in evacuation, search and rescue.
“We are monitoring the situation and ready to provide additional support to the affected people.”
The Bangladesh Meteorological Department recorded 508 millimetres (1.6 feet) of rain in Rangamati alone over the past two days.
The mudslides swept over thatched homes and settlements and telephone and transport links have also been cut off.
The death toll in affected areas is expected to increase as there are many people still reported as missing.
Concern has been fighting extreme poverty in Bangladesh for 45 years and today has 55 staff working with local partner organisations in the country located between Burma and India in the Bay of Bengal.
Bangladesh is just over twice the size of the island of Ireland with a population that is over 25 times larger in what is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.