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Bangladesh suffers from the Worst Flooding in Decades


BY: Sakib Tariq



Hundreds of people have died and millions more have lost their homes, land, and food supply due to severe flooding in Bangladesh.


The region of Bengal boasts the world’s largest river delta, The Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, which empties into the Bay of Bengal. The large water system is a key factor for the fertile soil that has made Bangladesh an attractive area for farming. The rivers that flow through the nation like veins are also responsible for frequent flooding disasters that annihilate parts of the nation.


Currently, more than a third of Bangladesh is underwater and many of those affected have had no choice but to live alongside highways and bridges. As of July 28, more than 4 million people have been affected and over 980,000 homes have been inundated. Bangladeshis living alongside the Brahmaputra river are the worst off, as the water levels of the mighty river have been above danger levels for over a month.

This calamity arrived at the worst of times, as the nation of 165 million was already struggling to combat the coronavirus pandemic.


Data from the WorldBank shows that Bangladesh spends 2.27 percent of its GDP on healthcare, which pales in comparison to the amount that Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America spend on their respective nation’s health. Bangladesh’s Health Ministry reported that less than 5 percent of COVID patients in the country are receiving care in hospitals. This is, in large part, due to the stigma against hospital care in the nation. The ratio of hospital beds to patients in the country are among the lowest in the world. It is estimated that there are a little over 1,000 ICU beds in the entire country.


Although the region of Bengal was no stranger to natural disasters, nothing could have prepared them for the events of this year. With the economy at a standstill, the rural areas of Bangladesh that relied on remittances had turned to saving and rationing their supplies in preparation for the monsoon season. Unfortunately, the torrential rain and flooding wiped out supplies for millions of people.


The future for Bangladesh remains quite bleak without immediate humanitarian aid. “The suffering will go up,” said Sajedul Hasan, the humanitarian director of BRAC, to the New York Times.



Sources:



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