Bangladesh: Two Million Children Affected by Unprecedented Monsoon Rains Amid Longest-lasting Floods in Over Twenty Years

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Aug. 4, 2020)—Mostak Hussain, Humanitarian Director for Save the Children in Bangladesh, said:

“This has been a devastating monsoon so far, and we’re only halfway through the season. The incessant rains have led to widespread flooding across the country, affecting some five million people, including 1.9 million children, according to the UN. More than one million homes have been damaged by the floods and dozens of people have died.

“We are witnessing the longest-lasting floods in Bangladesh in over two decades, with huge implications for the health and well-being of children and families in low-lying areas. Tens of thousands of latrines and wells are either damaged or destroyed, severely compromising access to safe drinking water and hygiene practices. Meanwhile, COVID-19 lockdown measures and the heavy rain means families—especially pregnant women—can’t access healthcare services when they need to. Millions of people who rely on the land to grow their food and earn a living have lost everything as a third of Bangladesh is submerged.

“This year, South Asia has already suffered two severe cyclonic storms in just a few weeks and the region is now witnessing one of the heaviest monsoons in years. The Bangladeshi government is acutely aware of extreme weather events and declared a ‘climate emergency’ last year. It is already supporting the affected communities but much more is needed to help protect vulnerable children and families from losing their homes and livelihoods every time there is an extreme weather event or the rivers burst their banks. We must make communities more resilient and able to adapt to the changing climate, because sadly this could be a way of life going forward.”

Spokespeople are available for additional comment. To arrange an interview, contact Claire Garmirian ([email protected]).

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