Food aid continues in Bangladesh months after deadly cyclone – UN agency

1 July 2008Obtaining food remains the biggest priority for Bangladeshi families living in areas still devastated by Cyclone Sidr last year, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today, announcing it will continue its aid operations to the affected region. The next major harvest in the delta country is not due until November or December, and many households lack sufficient food reserves to last until then, according to a press release issued by WFP.The soaring cost of many basic foods, a worldwide phenomenon this year, has also left many families unable to afford to buy what they need, the agency added. Over the past month WFP has conducted its seventh round of general food distribution since Cyclone Sidr, which struck coastal Bangladesh in mid-November last year, killing more than 3,000 people and leaving millions of others dependent on outside assistance. About 1.5 million Bangladeshis benefited from the latest food distribution round, which consisted of rations featuring rice, pulses, edible oil, blended food, salt and high-energy biscuits. WFP country director Edward Kallon said the round had been completed despite logistical problems caused by the current rainy season. In total, the agency has delivered at least 63,000 tons of emergency food assistance since the cyclone. read more