Cash Helps Flood Affected Families In Northwest Bangladesh Get Back On Their Feet

Published on 21 November 2016

Bangladesh: a woman wades knee-deep through her flooded homestead. Photo credit: WFP/ Kamrul Mithon

DHAKA – Some 42,500 people in northwest Bangladesh are to receive financial assistance through a WFP initiative, enabling them to buy food and other necessities they lost when the area was hit by recurrent monsoon floods from August.

The poorest families in the worst-affected areas of Kurigram, Gaibandha, Sirajganj and Jamalpur districts will each receive 4,000 taka per month over the next three months (totalling US$150) to stabilize their food security and nutritional status. The money is being provided by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). 

Paul Whittingham, Acting DFID representative said that the UK has always stood beside the people of Bangladesh in times of need and was committed to working together with its partners to help alleviate the suffering caused by this disaster. 

WFP, in consultation with the local administration and NGOs, has appointed a senior woman from each of the 8,500 participating households to receive the money. Experience from Bangladesh and elsewhere shows that when women receive assistance like this, it has not only empowered them, but also improves food security and nutrition for the entire family.

Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh, said that financial assistance is particularly important during prolonged disasters, when livelihoods are lost and work opportunities become scarce for months. “Thanks to this cash, families can retain a measure of choice over the food they get, and manage to eat well,” she said.

The first payments began last week, and the three cash disbursements will be completed by mid-January. To help ensure that the assistance reaches the most vulnerable, those in participating communities can voice any concerns by calling the WFP hotline at 01766695488.

Northwestern Bangladesh has experienced recurrent monsoon floods for much of the second half of 2016. Almost 4 million people were affected as large areas became inundated, more than 100 people died as a direct consequence of the floods, and 250,000 houses are destroyed or damaged. Experts warn that the current lean season could further reduce people’s food consumption.

The WFP scheme is part of a joint United Nations emergency operation in coordination with the government and humanitarian partners, aimed at alleviating immediate needs and making communities more resilient to future floods.   

 

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About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @Wfp_Media  and @Wfp_Asia

About DFID
DFID is the British Government Department which provides UK Aid from the British people. The UK is the world’s biggest bilateral provider of humanitarian funding. Every year, the UK helps some 5 million people around the world who are affected by disasters and conflicts. 

Follow Head of DFID Bangladesh on Twitter: [@JaneEdm_DFID]

Follow the British High Commission Bangladesh on Twitter and Facebook: [@UKinBangladesh] and [UK in Bangladesh]

For more information please contact:
Christa Räder, Representative, WFP Bangladesh, Tel. +880-2-918-302-233 
Alexandra Maclean, Team Leader, EPRCC, DFID Bangladesh, Tel. +880 2 9842705-9
Daniel Svanlund, Communications Officer, WFP Bangladesh, Tel. +880-2-918-3022 ext. 2189
Faroha Suhrawardy, Senior Press Officer, British High Commission, Dhaka, Tel. +880 2 9842705-9