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Bangladesh: UN agencies offer relief to families still displaced by cyclone

Bangladesh: UN agencies offer relief to families still displaced by cyclone

Displaced Bangladeshi women and children
United Nations agencies are providing relief to about 14,000 Bangladeshi families who are still living on embankments and in need of assistance, 15 months after they lost their homes when Cyclone Aila struck the impoverished South Asian country.

The World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will provide about $4.6 million of aid under the initiative, which follows a request from the Government to support its own relief programmes, the UN Country Team in Bangladesh reported today.

A recent assessment found that about 14,000 families are still living in temporary dwellings on embankments in Khulna and Satkhira districts, and concerns about their situation have mounted given their vulnerability during the current monsoon season.

Dozens of people died when Cyclone Aila struck Bangladesh and India in May last year and thousands more lost their homes and sought temporary shelter.

For the next five months WFP has pledged to provide a monthly family food ration that consists of 30 kilograms of rice, five kilograms of pulses and three kilograms of vegetable oil. Households with pregnant or lactating women or children under the age of two will receive an additional allocation of fortified blended food.

UNDP is distributing plastic sheets, ropes, nails, hammers, knives, umbrellas and bamboo as part of shelter packages to those in need.

UNICEF is handing out iron and folate supplements to young children and pregnant and lactating women to reduce malnutrition and the agency will also provide advice and information to families on appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene practices.

The current initiative is being assisted by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.