By now, many of us have heard of the devastating floods that have taken their toll on Bangladesh and its neighbors. As of the end of August, 32 districts of Bangladesh were flooded, affecting more than 8 million people — among these, 19% are considered extremely poor. Waters continue to rise and have now spread to central parts of the country. Many aid groups, NGOs, and the government continue to work to assist affected populations. As for what can be done from the US, the Bangladeshi diaspora members, corporations and other donors in the US and Canada have the opportunity to support these efforts through the Diaspora Gives Bangladesh portal, where all of our featured partners are responding to the floods.
One of these partners, Helvetas Bangladesh, is a Swiss development organization that has been working in Bangladesh since 2000 and focuses primarily on disaster prevention and relief and food security. For the recent floods, Helvetas Bangladesh is working with those affected to bring their lives back to normal. As the majority of people affected relied on subsistence farming they are now in dire circumstances — their crops have been drowned, their livestock often have diseases because of the floods, and their homes have been severely damaged if not entirely destroyed.
To help, Helvetas Bangladesh’s program “Improving Food Security and Livelihoods” has been implemented in Gaibandha and Jamalpur, located respectively in the western and eastern side of the Jamuna river and have both been severely affected by the monsoons and subsequent floods. Helvetas Bangladesh is working to provide these regions with seeds, fencing material, animal feeds, medicine, and materials to repair their houses.
Image provided by Helvetas Bangladesh.