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Caritas Bangladesh opens new facility for typhoon victims



Dhaka, Bangladesh, 11 March 2014:Caritas Bangladesh continues to help cyclone Mahasen victims as well as those who will suffer damage from future typhoons.

Despite the danger that the authorities might forget such tragedies, the Catholic organisation has opened a new shelter for displaced people in the village of Chalitabonia, Patuakhali, which will operate as a short-term typhoon rescue shelter as well as a long-term emergency facility.

Caritas now runs about 250 shelters in Bangladesh's coastal areas, providing refuge to displaced people as well as hot meals and education for children. Some of the shelters are equipped with medical facilities.

Barisal Division Assistant Secretary Nurul Amin cut the traditional ribbon last Thursday, marking the official opening of the Dhankhali Board Government Primary School Cyclone Shelter.

In his address, the official, a Muslim, thanked Catholics for their work. "It is a beautiful and excellent building, suitable especially for women, children and the disabled, that can be used as a school as well, with a large, safe tank. I call on local residents to treat it with the utmost care."

Echoing these words, Caritas regional director Francis Bepari added, "This shelter is for you, so it is up to you to take care of it. We hope you will benefit from it."

Among the people attending the ceremony were local political leaders, teachers and 1,550 students.

The facility cost about US$ 120,000, which were raised by Caritas France, and is equipped with solar panels and big safe water tank.

Cyclone Mahasen hit Bangladesh and Myanmar in May 2013, killing 110 people and causing an estimated damage of around US$ 6 million. Coastal fishing and farming villages were the most affected.

The government responded with financial aid and emergency programmes, but quickly ran out even though more than 50,000 people were still displaced.
Source: AsiaNews

Joseph Paimpallikunnal


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