Aid Finally Reaches Bengalis

After six days, relief starts flowing to victims of Cyclone Sidr
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 5:54 PM CST
Aid Finally Reaches Bengalis
Scores of women wait for relief materials outside a relief center at Tafalbari village in Bagerhat district of Bangladesh, Wednesday Nov. 21, 2007. Overburdened relief centers scrambled to help tens of thousands of people as fist fights broke out Wednesday among some survivors of last week's cyclone...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Bangladesh’s army has finally reached most parts of the southern coastline devastated by Cyclone Sidr six days ago, delivering small amounts of aid to most affected areas, the AFP reports. With relief efforts thus far stymied by the devastation, any aid was welcomed: "We spent the last six days cooking rotten rice," said one survivor as the first consignment arrived.

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"Not a single man shall die without food as the government has sufficient stock of foodstuffs," said a Bengal army general, but a long-term reconstruction effort is necessary for real recovery. While Dhaka has been offered a total of $390 million from other countries and the World Bank, efficient distribution is key as the people struggle to survive disease and starvation in the storm’s wake. (Read more Bangladesh stories.)

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