MINISTER O'DONNELL ANNOUNCES RELIEF ASSISTANCE FOR FLOOD VICTIMS IN CHINA AND BANGLADESH
Ms. Liz O'Donnell, T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance and Human Rights, this morning announced approval of emergency funding totalling £175,000 for flood victims in China and Bangladesh.
‘The situation in both China and Bangladesh is very serious. Months of continuous rain has led to massive flooding along the Yangtze river which has affected some 240 million people, one fifth of China's population. The flooding has caused 3,000 deaths and destroyed 5 million homes as well as millions of hectares of crops. The onset of cold weather in northern China will only exacerbate the humanitarian crisis there.'
With regard to the crisis in Bangladesh, Minister O'Donnell noted, ‘Flooding in Bangladesh has left two thirds of the country under water and has affected 30 million people, 10 million of whom are at serious risk. There is an urgent need for emergency humanitarian assistance, including shelter, food aid and medical assistance. The grant announced today will go towards meeting these needs.'
The grant for relief in China will be disbursed through the International Federation of the Red Cross. Together with a grant of £ 50,000 to the IFRC announced last month, this brings total Irish assistance to China to £ 125,000. The grant for Bangladesh will be channelled via the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA is liaising closely with other UN agencies active in Bangladesh and is also working with the Government of Bangladesh in addressing the humanitarian needs of those affected by the disaster. ‘I am keeping in close contact with the situation in both China and Bangladesh and will continue to work closely with the relevant international agencies which are responding to the crisis', said Minister O'Donnell.