UK Continues to Aid Bangladesh Victims

    The Muslim Weekly
    Friday, December 7th 2007

    With relief efforts working unabated across the southern affected areas of cyclone-hit Bangladesh, Britain tirelessly continued with its contribution of aid this week.

    Despite Cyclone Sidr having left thousands of people dead and millions homeless, Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT) and Muslim Welfare Institute (MWI) made a joint emergency appeal to relieve the suffering of the Bangladeshi People.

    CEO of UWT, an international charity with offices across England, Shaikh Muhammad Ahmad, said: 'Once again, a calamity has befallen the Ummah. It is a collective responsibility upon us all to assist our fellow brothers and sisters in Bangladesh.'

    An initial £100,000 has been allocated and the appeal aims to raise a further half a million pounds through the assistance of donors, mosques and organisations across the UK.

    While international charity group Muslim Aid said it had 'immediately allocated £215,000 for emergency aid and launched a fundraising campaign to raise £3million for ongoing relief and rehabilitation'.

    So far £600,000 cash and $1.1million in kind has been raised, Muslim Aid reported.

    Secretary of MWI, a Blackburn based charity, Shaikh Hanif Dudhwala, said: 'As with all emergency crises, it is necessary to think of the long term consequences of the cyclone. Phase two of our plan is to rebuild homes, re-establish water systems and provide material for those who have lost their means of sustenance.'

    Meanwhile Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, announced an additional £2.5 million in funding to meet the immediate needs of the people affected.

    The additional funding, which brings the UK’s total support this year to £116.7 million making it the largest bilateral donor to Bangladesh, will go towards providing emergency food, clean water and basic shelter to the worst affected communities.

    Douglas Alexander said: 'More than one week on from the devastation and terrible loss of life caused by Cyclone Sidr, nearly seven million people in Bangladesh continue to suffer. Despite difficulties, aid is getting through to the worst affected communities. The long work of rebuilding people’s lives and homes is beginning.

    He added: 'The next, equally immediate, challenge is to help people rebuild their livelihoods - fishing, farming, and trading activities have all been destroyed. Bangladeshi resilience in the face of natural disaster is nothing short of inspiring: it commands our respect, and continued support.'

    He said Britain was committed to 'supporting the people of Bangladesh'.

    The Department for International Development (DFID) has sent two disaster relief experts to Bangladesh to support the DFID country office in its emergency efforts and make recommendations on further UK support.

    DFID continues to work with the Government and people of Bangladesh to help them reduce, and deal with, the impact of natural disasters. DFID has already provided £4.7 million to help with massive flooding in the country earlier this year.

    Through DFID, the UK Government is working closely with other donors and agencies and stands ready to provide further funding if required.

    For those wishing to donate can do so online by visiting Ummah Welfare Trust’s website at or calling its hotline on: 0845 652 2786 or 01274 390 396.

    Original article can be viewed here