Safe water is critical to ward off diseases, the biggest threat to children in flood emergencies. UNICEF is also distributing essential medicines and high energy biscuits to people in shelters and to those returning to homes.
An estimated 3.2 million people have been affected by the cyclone with a reported 1,100 deaths and 1 million in shelters.
The worst affected districts are Barisa, Barguna, Patuakhali, Patharghata, Jhalokathi and Pirojpur. Hundreds are feared dead with large numbers of people missing in the islands and coasts, an estimated 300 in Patharghata alone.
At the height of the storm, electricity system failed first in parts and then throughout the country cutting off channels of communication across the country and the power supply still remains highly unstable. Communication with and access to the worst affected areas, the coastal districts, is limited.
Trees have fallen on all major highways largely severing road communication between Dhaka and other parts of the country.
There have been severe damages in houses, crops and livestock; the initial estimates show 80 per cent damage to lands and 30 per cent to houses in Khulna.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
19 November 2007: UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh Louis-Georges Arsenault speaks with UNICEF Radio correspondent Blue Chevigny about the devastating effects of Cyclone Sidr.