UN providing technical support following South Asian cyclone

27 May 2009

United Nations agencies are providing technical support to assess the damage in southern Bangladesh following Cyclone Aila, which killed at least 100 people in the South Asian nation and also hit parts of neighbouring India earlier this week.

According to Bangladeshi authorities, over 5,400 people were also injured and nearly 842,000 were forced into shelters by the cyclone, which made landfall on Monday, and continuing high winds.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that agencies, including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were helping the Bangladeshi Government assess the affected districts.

Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator’s office in India is monitoring the situation there, while the Government carries out damage assessments.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which have offices in the eastern Indian states of Orissa and West Bengal, “are responding to the impact of the cyclone in their regular programmatic manner,” stated OCHA.

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes yesterday voiced his sadness in hearing of the loss of life and property damage caused by Cyclone Aila, and stated the UN’s readiness to assist as required.

Neither Government has requested international assistance so far, according to OCHA.


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