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Bangladesh floods cause severe food shortages, warns Christian Aid

August 24 2011 - Heavy monsoon rains in the Satkhira and Khulna districts in southwest Bangladesh have forced 700,000 people to flee their homes following the worst flooding to hit the area in eight years.

‘Food is required now for people already displaced.’ said Robin Greenwood, Head of Christian Aid’s Asia and Middle East Division, who has been visiting affected areas in Bangladesh. ‘With heavy rain expected until the end of the week, severe flooding will continue to destroy more crops, perpetuating people’s suffering.’

People have fled their homes and have moved into schools and cyclone shelters. In the worst affected areas people have lost everything and have no way of making a living as fish and shrimp farms have been destroyed and they have no seeds to replant.

‘Not only have they lost the current rice harvest but the seeds for the winter months have also been lost; there is now a huge concern for major food shortages lasting well into 2012 that could lead to hunger for the poorest and rising food prices.’ said Robin Greenwood

The whole of Bangladesh faces a shortage in vegetables as the Khulna district, which is one of the worst affected areas is also one of the main vegetable growing regions of Bangladesh and seeds stored in nurseries in there have been destroyed.

With funding from DFID Christian Aid has been working with other agencies to reach the most vulnerable.

Christian Aid partners the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCCB) and Shushilan have significant experiencing in responding to floods and have begun delivering food and other items by boat to areas impossible to reach by road.

Food, temporary shelter and hygiene kits are currently being delivered to over five thousand households in the Satkhira district.

Christian Aid is distributing fresh drinking water and purification tablets as boreholes and other water sources have been inundated by flood water, contaminating the water supply.

If you would like further information please contact Jo Rogers on 020 7523 2460 andjrogers@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950

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Notes to Editors

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need isgreatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty. Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

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