30 August 2013
When Cyclone Mahasen hit southern Bangladesh on 16 May 2013, more than one million people were evacuated to cyclone shelters and around 155,000 houses were destroyed or damaged. The British Red Cross has now given £56,700 from its Disaster Fund to support people who are still affected by the aftermath.
Most of the people who were evacuated have now returned to their homes but some are seeking shelter in make-shift camps. Although conditions have improved since the disaster, the monsoon season continues – bringing with it heavy rainfall and risks of further flooding and landslides.
Bangladesh is one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, and is particularly susceptible to cyclones and floods. Money from the British Red Cross’ Disaster Fund will go towards providing shelter and supporting the regional disaster response team. It will also pay for an assessment of the Bangladesh Red Crescent’s response to disasters, enabling it to hone its future preparedness, relief and recovery operations.
The British Red Cross funds a long-term Bangladesh Red Crescent programme, helping communities prepare for disasters. It supported the National Society prior to the cyclone hitting and in the immediate aftermath.
As the cyclone approached, Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers helped keep communities updated and shared disaster preparedness advice. After Mahasen struck, the Bangladesh Red Crescent conducted search and rescue operations and deployed national disaster response teams. It also provided first aid, food and clean water in Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola – the most affected areas. The British Red Cross helped the Bangladesh Red Crescent respond by assessing needs, mobilising staff and volunteers, and supplying vehicles.
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