A new partnership between Oxfam and the British Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce (BBCC) was launched today (Thursday) with a call from the BBCC to all Bangladeshi owned restaurants to add a voluntary £1 donation to every bill which will go to people whose homes, crops and livelihoods have been wrecked by the cyclone.
The situation in the country is dire. There is no sanitation or fresh water in many areas, meaning that there is a serious risk of numerous cholera outbreaks. Food shortages are also threatening many and food and fuel prices are rising. The impact of the cyclone on southern Bangladesh’s agriculture is made worse by the damage that was done to agriculture in the north of the country by severe floods this summer.
· At least three million Bangladeshis have been affected by the cyclone
· Around three thousand people have been killed with many more still missing
· 903,000 homes have been damaged and 273,000 completely destroyed
· Countless livestock have been killed and vast areas of agricultural land have been devastated.
· Much of the south of the country is inaccessible by road, making delivery of aid and food supplies very difficult
While starting with the restaurant sector, the partnership between Oxfam and the BBCC will also include all other Bangladeshi owned businesses around the UK.
Aziz-ur Rahman, Director General of the British Bangladeshi Chamber of Commerce said: “With more than 10,000 restaurants, and thousands of shops and other businesses around the UK, Britain’s Bangladeshi businesses can make a real difference to this appeal – whether they are members of the chamber or not. We are backing Oxfam’s appeal because our communities, our families and our people need direct help urgently.”
Cathy Ferrier, Fundraising Director for Oxfam said: “The Bangladeshi community in Britain has an essential role to play in helping to get funds to the victims of Cyclone Sidr. Bangladeshi businesses are on nearly every high street in Britain, and to have their support in raising funds, to help prevent this disaster from worsening, is vitally important to Oxfam.”
As well as visiting as supporting restaurant, anybody who would like to contribute to the Oxfam appeal for Bangladesh should visit www.oxfam.org.uk/bbcc
The announcement comes on the day that the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – of which Oxfam is a member – launches an emergency appeal for the people of Bangladesh affected by the cyclone to donate to the DEC appeal call 0870 60 60 900 or visit www.dec.org.uk.
For further details contact Ashish Sharma on 07920722402