IFRC launches Bangladesh floods appeal

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The Red Cross on Friday launched a 1.3 million franc (1.6 million dollar, 1.1 million euro) appeal to assist 50,000 people affected by heavy monsoon rains and floods in Bangladesh.

"The floods have engulfed vast areas spanning the length and breadth of the country, impacting on the lives of more than 1.56 million people," the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement.

Heavy monsoon rains in recent days have caused at least five rivers in Bangladesh to burst their banks, flooding more than 1,000 square kilometres (400 square miles) of farmland in the remote Satkhira district.

"The districts of Satkhira and Jessore have been particularly hard-hit," the IFRC said.

"Around 20,000 houses in 548 villages collapsed completely, and poor farmers/share croppers have lost their investment as over 66,000 acres of standing crops have been either partially or fully damaged by the floods," the humanitarian agency added.

The appeal will provide emergency relief in the districts of Cox's Bazar, Satkhira and Jessore, "including food and non-food relief items, emergency shelter materials, latrines and drinking water", the IFRC added.

© 2011 AFP

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