Czechs send humanitarian aid to Bangladesh

Bangladesh, photo: CTK

Czech humanitarian organizations as well as the Czech Foreign Ministry have decided to send aid to Bangladesh. The country was hit by a disastrous cyclone last Thursday, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives so far. The Czech office of the Adra humanitarian organisation has already launched a fund-raising campaign to help the devastated region. I asked its coordinator Radek Spinka whether they have their own representative in the afflicted area.

“Adra is a network organization and we don’t have anybody from our office. But as part of the Adra network we at the moment have a person coming from our regional office - Adra Asia - who is arriving today at Bangladesh. He will give us the latest update during the day today. At the moment we have also one of our Czech citizens, who lives in Bangladesh. He’s a doctor who has been living and working in Bangladesh for the last eight years, so we are also in touch with him.”

So what does the situation look like from what you know from your contact?

“We know that the part which was hit is mostly south. All telecommunication was cut, all the electricity was broken. Over one million people were affected. Now they are talking about more than 3,000 people: they have discovered the bodies. But there are still number of places not reached by anybody. So the situation is quite desperate. They lost during this time mostly their houses, because they have those thatched houses, and there is such a strong wind that they have lost most of their property.”

Bangladesh,  photo: CTK
So what are currently the most urgent needs?

“Safe drinking water is usually one of the priorities, because drinking water was polluted. Also the food - people lost their crops already for the second time this year. You might remember that during the summer there was a big flood in Bangladesh, which destroyed the crops. So food is also very much needed. And then, because it is winter season now starting, some shelters and blankets will be definitely one of the priorities.”

You have already launched a fund-raising campaign. Do you know what amount you have already collected and what amount would you like to collect?

Bangladesh,  photo: CTK
“We have been able to collect so far a little bit over one million Czech crowns. We have tried to open the DMS account where you can send money through MMS, it’s Adra Asia, where people can send money to support people in Bangladesh. We don’t have any specific target but we are working within the Adra network and together I am sure we can collect quite a lot of money.”

So in what way are you going to use the money apart from what you have already mentioned?

“This is the first stage which will take months to secure the people and their basic needs. And then depending on the funds it will definitely go more on infrastructure and some rehabilitation projects, where Adra is also very much involved.”