FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 09/98 - BANGLADESH (16 September)
BANGLADESH (16 September)
Heavy monsoon rains that started in the second dekad of July caused extensive flooding in two- thirds of the country. The floods resulted in loss of life and extensive damage to property and infrastructure. Recent reports put the death toll at more than 1 000 people. Some 25 million people are reported to have been affected by the floods, with many thousands left homeless. Over 2 million head of cattle were also affected.
Late planted 'Aus' crops have been destroyed and the anticipated rice output of 1.9 million tonnes is now revised down to 1.6 million tonnes. The planting of the main ĎAmaní rice was also delayed in most areas and many farmers will not be able to plant this season which ends in August/September. Actual crop losses will only be known after the floods recede, but recent estimates put the loss at around 2 million tonnes. An FAO/WFP Mission is planned for early October to assess the flood damage to crops and review the overall food supply situation.
The Government has made an emergency appeal for 1.38 million tonnes of foodgrains. A total of 830 000 tonnes has so far been pledged. More external assistance with both relief and emergency rehabilitation of the agriculture sector is urgently needed.
On 15 September, FAO and WFP jointly approved an emergency operation for US$84 million for assistance to 19 million persons for five months (December 1998-January 1999).