Tuesday 29 September 2020
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reliefweb - 2 month ago

Bangladesh 2020 severe monsoon floods | Urgent call for assistance

Country: Bangladesh Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Overview Heavy monsoon rainfall, coupled with rising water levels in the three major river basins and hilly areas upstream, have led to major flooding in northern, northeastern and southeastern Bangladesh. Initially, the Forecast-based Financing Working Group predicted that five districts of Bangladesh would be affected, however, the situation is much more severe and a further deterioration is expected over the coming days. The current floods might be the most prolonged since 1988 and the water will not start receding before August, according to the Global Flood Awareness System, jointly developed by the European Commission and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Food security and livelihoods in the country have already been heavily impacted. There has been widespread damage, including to agricultural land and flood protection infrastructure, disrupting agricultural production. Furthermore, there have been severe losses of crops, poultry, livestock and fisheries in 92 percent of the total affected unions, as well as major constraints to market access and food price fluctuations. Reduced employment opportunities, due to disruptions in food value chains, are also limiting income and the purchasing power of vulnerable households. Many households have already adopted negative coping mechanisms, such as selling their livestock below market price and eating fewer meals. This will further increase poverty levels. The severe monsoon floods this year are further exacerbating the humanitarian situation in a country already facing other emergencies, including the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Rohingya refugee crisis in Cox s Bazar and the recent Cyclone Amphan. The constraints to economic activity and loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with damages caused by the Cyclone, will make it harder to tackle the compounding effects of severe flooding. Additionally, COVID-19 containment measures make humanitarian response more challenging, as access becomes more difficult and there is a need for physical distancing long with the fear of virus transmission in evacuation shelters.


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