Contact: U.S. Agency for International Development Press Office: 202-712-4320; Public Information: 202-712-4810
WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is sending an additional $2 million in emergency funds to assist relief efforts in Bangladesh after Tropical Cyclone Sidr made landfall. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will receive $1 million of this new funding for water and sanitation programs and to provide shelter materials to those in need. The remainder of the funding will be directed to humanitarian organizations currently working in the affected area and will assist in meeting the immediate needs of the Bangladeshi people.
This new funding is in addition to the initial $100,000 provided by USAID immediately after the cyclone, bringing the total U.S. Government assistance to $2.1 million to date. USAID has also deployed a five-person disaster assessment team to assist with relief and recovery efforts in conjunction with the USAID Mission and U.S. Embassy in Dhaka. The team is working alongside local authorities to conduct field assessments that will identify additional needs and areas where we might be of assistance.
The government of Bangladesh, with assistance from the U.S., has invested in disaster preparedness and mitigation, which undoubtedly saved many lives. USAID funds construction and maintenance of multi-purpose flood and cyclone shelters throughout the country as well as wave protection walls and earthen embankments to reduce flood damage. In addition to building nearly 4,000 physical mitigation structures since 2005, USAID worked to train local disaster management committees to oversee emergency response activities and provided cyclone preparedness training programs for coastal areas. For those previously displaced by flooding this year, emergency survival packages were distributed to more than 59,000 households and food security efforts were continued in vulnerable regions.
Prior to the storm making landfall, USAID pre-positioned sixteen zodiac boats, six water treatment systems, ten water ambulances used for emergency operations. With partners CARE and Save the Children, 30,000 emergency survival packages and food stockpiles were pre-positioned to facilitate distribution after the storm passed.
The United States extends its deepest sympathies to the government and people of Bangladesh in the face of this major natural disaster and stands ready to further assist in the relief effort based on needs identified in the coming days.
For more information about USAID's emergency humanitarian assistance programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.