Today, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched an emergency appeal of two million Swiss francs (around two million US Dollars) to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society in providing relief and recovery assistance to 55,000 people affected by Cyclone Roanu.
Cyclone Roanu made landfall on Bangladesh’s coastline on 21 May. Heavy and continuous rainfall accompanying the cyclone caused landslides in the Chittagong hills region and tidal surgesbrought widespread floodingin the coastal belt. Close to 1.3 million people were severely affected across seven districts (Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar, Bhola, Barguna, Lakshmipur, Noakhali and Patuakhali). Flooding displaced more than 200,000 people from their homes and damaged or destroyed 75,000 homes. Local livelihoods have also been seriously affected with flooding causing extensive damage to standing crops.
The IFRC appeal focuses on meeting people’s most urgent needs, including food, essential household items like water containers and tarpaulins for emergency shelter, access to safe drinking water and cash grants to help boost people’s livelihoods. The appeal also aims to support health promotion and awareness activities to reduce the spread of vector and water-borne diseases like diarrhoea.
“With the monsoon season expected to run until October, communities living in the coastal belt of Bangladesh will need to be prepared for further floods,” said Azmat Ulla, head of the IFRC’s country office in Bangladesh.
“Almost every year these same communities are struck by tropical storms and each time it is harder for them to recover. IFRC will continue to work closely with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society on measures that help local people to build their resilience and manage disaster risks better”.
Days before Cyclone Roanu struck the coast of Bangladesh, the Red Crescent was involved in mobilizing around 55,000cyclone preparedness programme volunteerswho disseminated early warning and awareness messages and helped in the evacuation of some 500,000 people living in the path of the oncoming storm. Since then, the Red Crescent has been assisting thousands of evacuees with food rations, clean water and other emergency relief items.