Bangladesh suffers from the after effects of cyclone Sidr

Bangladesh suffers from the after effects of cyclone Sidr

100,000 lives saved, but the catastrophe is just beginning for Bangladesh

Early warning systems and shelters saved an estimated 100,000 lives in last
week’s Cyclone Sidr, but Oxfam is warning that without a massive
international response the country faces its worst humanitarian crisis in
decades.

Devastation of the country’s agriculture from both the cyclone in the south
and this summer’s severe floods in the north have led to increasing food
prices, while fuel prices have rocketed by 50 per cent.

The early warning systems, introduced over the last 15 years, new cyclone
shelters and better planning has meant that more than 100,000 people were
saved from the immediate impacts of last week’s cyclone – compared to the
loss of life in a similar cyclone in 1991. But with the country’s
agriculture in ruins vast numbers of people are now threatened with food
shortages.

More than 3 million people are thought to have been affected by the
cyclone, with around 3,000 people dead, and a similar number missing,
273,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 900,000 damaged, while
855,000 acres of crops have been damaged and nearly 30,000 acres completely
destroyed according to government figures.

Heather Blackwell, Oxfam’s country representative for Bangladesh said:
“Across huge areas there is no food except what is dropped in by
helicopters.
“There are so many people without homes or basic sanitation, and who are
now likely to be unable to get food, that Bangladesh is facing its most
serious humanitarian disaster in many decades.
“Many thousands were saved by better planning, but cholera and malnutrition
may have devastating impacts if aid does not arrive soon.”

Oxfam has launched a £2m appeal to help relieve the problems affecting the
country.

Man Booker Prize winning author Monica Ali is also urging the British
public to get behind Oxfam’s £2m Bangladesh Cyclone Appeal, which was
launched yesterday.

“It’s been distressing for me to see and hear of the devastation in my home
country Bangladesh,” says Monica Ali. “Millions of people are affected,
left without homes, crops and essential daily necessities such as water and
sanitation. They urgently need our help to get back on their feet. Please
join with me and support Oxfam’s appeal and donate as generously as you can
– you will be making all the difference.”

Oxfam has been working with local partners since Cyclone Sidr struck on
Thursday, with teams in the worst-hit southern districts of Bagerhat,
Pirojpur, Barguna and Patuakhali assessing and providing urgent relief such
as sanitation and food and water. The money raised from our appeal will be
used to continue to provide relief such as essential sanitation, food and
water, shelter, well and latrine cleaning, and debris clearing, as well as
helping people get back on their feet.

Bangladeshi-born Ali is an active supporter of Oxfam and last year
travelled to Uganda to see Oxfam’s programme work.

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Chloe Powell +44 1865 472 359 chloe@oxfam.org.nz

Ian Bray +44 1865 472498 or +44 7721 461339 Ibray@oxfam.org.uk

Rob McNeil 01865 472334, 07909 860370 rmcneil@oxfam.org.uk

For more information on the ground please contact:

Heather Blackwell + 880 02 8813607-9, Mobile: + 880 (0)171 3011114 (in
Dhaka)

Aditi Kapoor +91 98 10 306200 (in Delhi)

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.

Notes to editors:
1. Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh at around 8pm on Thurs 15 Nov. (Embedded
image moved to file: pic10797.jpg)
2. Oxfam’s partners have been working in Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Barguna and
Patuakhali- some of the worst hit districts.

To donate to the Oxfam appeal, the public can:
· Call the appeal hotline: 0870 333 2500
· Donate cash, credit card or cheque at any Oxfam shop
· Donate online at: www.oxfam.org.uk

Rob McNeil
PR Manager
Oxfam
tel 01865 472334
mob 07909 860370
rmcneil@oxfam.org.uk

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.

Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England No. 612172.
Registered office: Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY
Registered charity No. 202918.

Region: All
Website: http://oxfam.org.uk
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Press Tickets:
Name: Rob McNeil
Phone: 01865 472334,