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Saturday, December 3, 2016
CAFOD pledges immediate aid to victims of Bangladesh cyclone
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¬†CAFOD has pledged £200,000 for immediate aid work to the victims of the Bangladesh cyclone and is working with partners to provide emergency relief. The agency's partner Caritas Bangladesh has been at the forefront of preparing and responding to the disaster. In anticipation of the cyclone Caritas Bangladesh opened an emergency control room, warned people of the arriving cyclone and assisted with the evacuation of people and livestock. The Super Cyclonic Storm hit the coast of Bangladesh at 18.30 local time, on Thursday 15 November. The Government's official death toll on Sunday 18 November stood at 1852, based on body counts, yet thousands more are feared dead and several thousand are missing. The damage to road and telecommunication infrastructure means that many areas remain inaccessible and the full extent of the damage is not yet known. Pauline Taylor-McKeown, Head of International Department: Asia, from CAFOD said: "The death toll keeps rising, hundreds of thousands are homeless as homes have been washed away or crushed and livestock has been killed. Many families are still staying in cyclone shelters because they have nowhere else to go, and conditions are extremely crowded. "There is an urgent need for food, shelter and medical care. Drinking water is also a priority as many pumps have been washed away. Caritas and our other partners in Bangladesh are already distributing relief." CAFOD will be working with Caritas International, a network of Catholic aid agencies, to coordinate their aid response. CAFOD is also a member of the DEC in the UK. Districts with lower death tolls reflect the life saving effect of the cyclone shelters, roughly 2,000 of which have been constructed since 1991 and CAFOD supported some of these being built. However, little could be done to protect people's homes and livelihoods from the super cyclone's onslaught. The coastal area is very poor and in many villages little remains to even show where houses used to exist.
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