ShelterBox is sending a team to Bangladesh to assess whether it is well placed to support people affected by some of the worst flooding to ever hit the region.

Dave Ray is one of the response team members heading out to Bangladesh. He said: “Widespread flash flooding, caused by monsoon rains, has left millions of people displaced and many communities without electricity.

“With a quarter of the country now under water, a ShelterBox team is heading out to Bangladesh to see if we are well placed to support people who have lost their homes and, if we are, determine what our response might look like.

“ShelterBox has experience of working in Bangladesh. We’ve responded there several times, including in 2017 and 2019 after flooding left parts of the country devastated and many without adequate shelter.”

Climate change is increasing the risk of floods globally, putting millions of people at risk and making coastal and low-lying areas more vulnerable. Bangladesh is a nation of 160 million people. It is one of the most climate vulnerable nations in the world. It is low-lying, has 700 rivers, and faces threats from disasters such as floods and cyclones.

Bangladesh is affected by flooding every year during the monsoon season. Right now, heavy monsoon rains and flash floods have submerged large parts of northeastern Bangladesh, leaving millions of people stranded or displaced. The area was still recovering from heavy rains in late May. Several rivers flow downstream from India’s northeast through the low-lying wetlands of Bangladesh.

The excess rainwater has not been able to drain because of how saturated the wetlands were already from the rain in May. More than 9 million people have been left homeless by some of the worst flooding ever to hit South Asia, with displaced women and children particularly vulnerable. Many communities have been left without electricity.

Truro-based ShelterBox has experience of responding to extreme weather events and conflict in Bangladesh. ShelterBox sent a response team to Bangladesh in 2019 after monsoon rainfall triggered widespread flooding in low lying areas. responded in partnership with Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and worked closely with Rotary. We supported families who had lost their homes with essential aid items to help them rebuild and recover.

In 2017, ShelterBox responded to flooding in northern Bangladesh, working with Rotary and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS). ShelterBox also responded to Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and to the Rohingya crisis in 2017 with International Organization for Migration (IOM).

As well as sending an assessment team to Bangladesh, ShelterBox is currently working to support people in Ukraine, the Philippines, Yemen, Syria, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Haiti.