By Andrea Osorio - Disaster Recovery Network Fellow
Photo courtesy of BEDS Bangladesh
Your generous contribution to the South Asia Flood Relief Fund has strengthened local nonprofits’ capacity to respond to catastrophic floods that destroyed homes, threatened livelihoods, and left mosquito-borne diseases in their wake. The 2020 monsoon season has affected more than 25 million people in South Asia, and half of Bangladesh’s districts are currently underwater. This dire situation affects many in the region still recovering after the devastating storm in May, Cyclone Amphan.
While the statistics are sobering, the commitment of our nonprofit partners across South Asia is unwavering. Each year, these frontline heroes lead critical relief efforts to save lives and rebuild the livelihoods lost in the floodwaters. Let’s take a closer look:
Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) has been working in the storm-prone coastal region of Bangladesh since 2010. As the community experienced the compounding crises of COVID-19 and Cyclone Amphan, BEDS sought to improve food access through sustainable shrimp farming and native seed cultivation. Community response teams led awareness programs, distributed masks, and provided families with flooding safety kits, which included a life jacket, boots, a raincoat, and a headlamp. To compensate for electricity shortages caused by severe storms, BEDS is ramping up efforts to deliver renewable energy sources along the Sundarbans coast and has established three solar panel stations thus far.
Association for Women’s Awareness and Rural Development (AWARD) is working to keep Pakistanis safe from future flooding events while also protecting against a second wave of the coronavirus. They distributed 150 food packages and masks to support families affected by COVID-19 and subsequent job losses. AWARD also conducted six disaster risk reduction awareness sessions in high-risk flood areas of the Muzaffargarh District to ensure that even the most remote communities were prepared for the 2020 monsoon season.
Janaki Women Awareness Society (JWAS)in Nepal was preparing for summer storms in early March when the coronavirus lockdown stalled community surveys and construction of additional flood shelters. Despite the setback, the nonprofit partnered with local governments to provide food relief to some of the most marginalized communities in the province that were still recovering from the previous storm season.
These local nonprofit partners and many others are working around the clock to deliver life-saving rescue operations, relief materials, and medical attention to the people bearing the brunt of destruction caused by climate change. A huge thank you goes to GlobalGiving donors for their kind support in the face of this humanitarian crisis, and for standing with partners aiming to build a more resilient future as the floodwaters recede.
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