DOC - Europa

The European Commission dispatches new
assistance to the victims of monsoon floods in
Brussels, 19 September 2011 – The European Commission has allocated €5
million to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of Bangladeshis who recently
have been affected by severe monsoon floods. This emergency funding will provide
food assistance, nutritional care, clean drinking water, shelter, sanitation facilities
and access to healthcare to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation,
Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "The humanitarian situation is dire in
Bangladesh: hundreds of thousands of people are uprooted from their homes by
the latest deluge. They are now living in appalling conditions in makeshift shelters
or under the open sky. Europe's solidarity is called for, so the Commission will help
fund the immediate needs of the most vulnerable among the affected. As usual, our
relief activities also include disaster risk reduction – an indispensable priority in
such a disaster-prone country".
A recent field assessment carried out by the European Commission confirmed the
substantial destruction inflicted on houses and essential sources of livelihood.
There has been significant loss of crops, livestock and fish ponds, on which millions
of Bangladeshis rely for their sustenance and income.
The floods have affected around one million Bangladeshis so far, according to
official estimates. Over 200,000 people have fled their homes, forced to seek refuge
elsewhere. Most of the flooded areas are expected to remain waterlogged for
several months, which will have significant and protracted impact on the people
living along the river basins.
The Commission will continue to monitor the evolution of the humanitarian
emergency through its team in Bangladesh, while keeping in close contact with the
partner relief organisations through which our funding will reach the beneficiaries.
EU-Bangladesh relations date back to 1973 and have evolved over the years,
including both medium to long-term development cooperation as well as
implementation of disaster preparedness programmes and humanitarian response
activities. Since 2009, humanitarian aid from the European Commission in
Bangladesh has totalled almost €54 million.
Heavy monsoon downpour from early August 2011 compounded by high tides has
flooded a number of low-lying areas, in particular the Southwest part of
Being at sea-level, Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to severe flooding and
erosion during the monsoon season. The lack of adequate drainage, poorlyplanned construction, and badly maintained embankments contribute to the rising of
large river beds, and increases the risk of floods.
The EU currently provides €8.5 for disaster management and for mitigating the
consequences of climate change in Bangladesh. This is done through the Global
Climate Change Alliance and the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund.
The funding helps improve the country's ability to respond to disasters through the
implementation of appropriate regulations and policies, strengthening communities'
ability to respond to disasters; as well as improving the country's cyclone, storm and
flood early warning systems.
Funding from the European Commission is also helping Bangladeshi communities
to 'climate proof' their buildings, to maintain coastal and river embankments and to
build better urban drainage systems.
For more information
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
The European Commission's humanitarian aid:
Contacts :
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)