© UNICEF Bangladesh/2007/Noorani
Two days after Cyclone Sidr: climbing over a fallen tree in what used to be the school playground, Barisal division.
On the evening of 15 November 2007, Cyclone Sidr – a category four cyclonic storm – hit the low-lying and densely-populated coast of Bangladesh. The cyclone ravaged 30 southern districts in both Barisal and Khulna divisions. Hundreds perished as buildings collapsed in the 240 km per hour winds. Thousands of others drowned in tidal surges that were over 15 feet high in many villages.
The cyclone caused:
- 3,363 deaths
- 55,282 injured people
- 1.5 million damaged or destroyed homes
- 2.5 million acres of damaged cropland
Through loss of life, home and livelihood, the 8.9 million people affected by the cyclone continue to face lives of increased poverty.
Immediately following the cyclone, UNICEF worked with Save the Children to establish 220 safe spaces where child victims received food and safe water and had access to psycho-social support and recreation.
UNICEF also provided a wide range of emergency supplies, including:
- Safe drinking water for over 100,000 families
- 1 million packets of oral rehydration solution to treat diarrhoea
- 100,000 blankets, 30,000 tarpaulins and 40,000 plastic sheets
- 99,000 winter jackets for children aged five and below
- Family kits – containing clothes, cooking utensils and basic household items – for 32,000 families
Longer-term support for cyclone victims has included:
- Materials and support to build 42 transitional schools, which can be used as cyclone shelters during future storms
- Construction of almost 30,000 latrines
- Nutritional supplements for more than 140,000 children and over 50,000 women
- Cash transfers and social support for 2000 orphaned and vulnerable children and their foster families.