A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Dhaka, 20 May 2013 - Oxfam is supporting efforts by international agencies to effectively assess needs in Patukhali, Barguna and Bhola, the three districts worst hit by Cyclone Mahasen that lashed the coastal districts of Bangladesh on 16 May leaving at least 17 dead and 1.2 million affected based on government figures.
Gareth Price-Jones, Country Director of Oxfam in Bangladesh said, “Through good preparedness by the government and communities, we're seeing little emergency life-saving need, but it looks like there remain substantial recovery needs. We're working to assess whether external support is useful given the rapid response by local and national government.”
He also added, ”Oxfam has ongoing development projects in Barguna and Patuakhali, and is committed to supporting communities for the long term." According to an initial assessment, food security and livelihoods is the single most affected sector. An aerial survey has confirmed damages to crops and vegetables including rice which was half way into the harvest season. Other crops such as chilli and watermelons were significantly damaged.
Oxfam has contingency stocks in place in Barguna and Bagherhat for emergency shelter, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and non-food items which are ready to be distributed among the affected families in Barguna and Bagerhat districts at the request of the Government.
Notes to editors
For further info or media interview, please contact Abdul Quayyum at +880 1713060151.