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As the death toll continues to climb in South Asia after weeks of monsoon flooding, AmeriCares emergency response personnel are in Bangladesh and India, coordinating efforts to deliver life-saving relief to help some of the millions of people who are displaced and suffering.
“Floodwaters have been receding since Thursday, but the forecasts are for more rain and runoff from the mountains after another four to six days of receding waters,” reported Jonathan Hodgdon, AmeriCares emergency response manager in Bangladesh. “The current death toll from the recent floods here increased from 65 to 226 in the past week. Most flood-affected districts have sufficient dry food rations now and have shifted the nature of their requests for assistance over to water purification tablets, hygiene items and medicines to combat dengue fever and other water-borne diseases.”
More than 2,000 people across four countries have died in the most recent period of flooding, and it is estimated that 20 million others remain displaced and homeless. Flooding is an annual event throughout South Asia but the recent monsoons are the most horrific in decades, bringing misery and an elevated risk of disease across the region.
In India, AmeriCares is coordinating deliveries of relief supplies such as water purification treatments with local nongovernmental organizations.
AmeriCares has a long history of responding to emergencies in South Asia, working with local organizations in India for the past 15 years, and in Bangladesh since 2002. During the deadly monsoon season in India in 2005, AmeriCares delivered more than $14 million in relief shipments, including critically needed antibiotics, water purification treatments and other aid.