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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 16, 2007


U.S. Government Disaster Relief Support for Bangladesh Following Cyclone Sidr

The United States would like to express its deepest sympathy for the victims of the cyclone that hit Bangladesh late Thursday night. We are ready to work with the Government and foreign donors to assist in relieving the effects of the disaster.

The U.S. Government, through the offices of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), has worked closely with partners in disaster relief mitigation in Bangladesh for many years. USAID funds construction and maintenance of multi-purpose flood and cyclone shelters throughout the country as well as wave protection walls and earthen embankments to reduce flood damage. In addition to building nearly 4,000 physical mitigation structures since 2005, USAID worked to train local disaster management committees to oversee emergency response activities and provided cyclone preparedness training programs for coastal areas. For those previously displaced by 2007 flooding, Emergency Survival Packets were distributed to 59,779 households and food security efforts continue in vulnerable regions.

Upon hearing of the impending storm, the U.S. Mission in Bangladesh took immediate action to pre-position required supplies and equipment. Sixteen zodiac boats were ready to use for emergency operations. Six water treatment systems were mobilized. Ten water ambulances were available. With partners CARE and Save the Children 30,000 Emergency Survival Packages were pre-positioned in areas facing the oncoming cyclone and food commodities were pre-positioned for emergency response.

The storm's damage is significant, but with the measures already in place and post-relief activities ongoing, the United States is actively and quickly assisting Bangladesh in the recovery process.

2007/1015

Released on November 16, 2007

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