The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee is expanding its response to the devastating cyclone that struck Bangladesh on November 15, 2007, to aid 10,000 families with immediate emergency food packets. Families in Bargerhat, Barguna, and Patuakhali will receive rice, lentils, soybean oil, and salt. Hundreds of the essential packets have already been distributed to cyclone survivors.
Thanks to a funding approval received on November 21 from the Canadian FoodGrains Bank, CRWRC's initial emergency response has been extended to provide a full month of food to families in the target area. CRWRC is collaborating with three partner agencies in the expanded response: Lutheran Health Care Bangladesh, Food for the Hungry International, and Bangladesh Nazarene Mission.
Bangladesh's Disaster Management Information Centre in Dhaka also released updated statistics from Sidr today, indicating that just over 3,000 victims are confirmed dead, 1,800 remain missing, over one million homes were damaged, and more than 1.5 million acres of crops were affected.
CRWRC will continue with its plan to launch a second phase non-food response. Working with local agencies to address health, shelter, and access to household goods in the affected areas, CRWRC will distribute oral rehydration salts, water purification tablets, roofing sheets, blankets, clothing, and cooking pots.
CRWRC has a rich history of relief collaboration in Asia, most recently addressing the catastrophic tsunami and South Asia earthquake. A coalition of ten faith-based organizations, including CRWRC, have joined together to respond to second phase non-food needs from Cyclone Sidr.
CRWRC will also provide long-term relief to those whose livelihoods were affected by the tidal surge accompanying Sidr, including rice and shrimp farmers along the coastal deltas who lost their crops. CRWRC will focus on subsistence farmers and day laborers in rural areas who are most at risk, and then implement a third phase food and seed program to help farmers restore the area's agricultural base.
To donate to CRWRC's Bangladesh cyclone response, give online at www.crwrc.org and designate your gift "Bangladesh Floods 2007."
For more information about the Bangladesh cyclone response, check out website at www.CRWRC.org