Salvation Army relief work in Bangladesh moves forward

Army teams provide ongoing aid.

by Damaris Frick –

Anjali Bainagee, in the red sari, shows Salvation Army team members her shelter.

After Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh in late 2007, Salvation Army relief teams were immediately onsite to assist in the affected communities and were assigned by the local government to undertake relief activities in the Gopalgong district, an area with existing Salvation Army presence.

The immediate priority was to distribute parcels consisting of rice, lentils, oil and salt to 3,216 families. In total, The Salvation Army fed more than 16,000 people.

“The people in this area are very grateful to The Salvation Army,” said Ashim Kumar Biswas, chairman of the region. “No other organization has given us any assistance.”

Because the cyclone destroyed most of the rice seedlings, the Army distributed rice seed to the farmers to try to prevent a further catastrophe to the crops.

Major Mike Caffull, international emergency services field operations officer, said, “It will enable them to plant again and, we hope, have a good harvest in four months.”

The next phase of The Salvation Army’s response will be to reconstruct and repair houses.

A local woman, Anjali Bainagee, expressed relief in hearing of the Army’s plan to assist in rebuilding as she showed team members her current shelter. The pillars and walls of her family’s house were destroyed but fortunately the roof remains intact.

After two major floods, the cyclone is the third disaster to hit Bangladesh in 2007. With The Salvation Army’s help, people in Bangladesh will start the year 2008 with hope and with the feeling that people in the world care about them.

Donations in support of this emergency response can be made online to the “Bangladesh Cyclone and Flood Appeal” found at

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