Bangladesh sends humanitarian aid to Libya devastated by Cyclone Daniel
by Sumon Corraya

The death toll from last week’s devastating floods in Libya is estimated at 20,000, but it could rise. At least six Bangladesh migrants are among the dead. Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi cargo plane loaded with medicines, food and basic necessities left for the North African country. Bangladeshi authorities have asked their Libyan counterpart to authorise their embassy staff to search for the missing.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Bangladesh is sending humanitarian aid to Libya following devastating floods that hit the North African country last week, killing perhaps up to 20,000 people.

An AC-100J cargo plane of the Bangladeshi Air Force left the capital Dhaka with food, medicine and basic necessities for survivors of Cyclone Daniel, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the public relations division of the Bangladeshi Armed Forces, in a statement.

“Dry food, water purification tablets and emergency life-saving medicines are being sent as relief items provided by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief in the said transport aircraft,” said Air Vice-Marshal Fazlul Haque, one of those responsible for the aid operations.

Meanwhile, Libya is waging a desperate race against time in search of missing people and survivors, amid shortages of food, fuel, drinking water, electricity, and adequate communications.

The Government of Bangladesh wants to help the people affected by the floods in Libya following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s orders and in accordance with the government’s policy of integrated development.

Libya is home to more than 20,000 Bangladeshis. Many have come to work in the North African country, while others want to use it as a staging point to cross the Mediterranean on their way to Europe.

At least six Bangladeshis reportedly died in the heavy flooding caused by the cyclone. But more have probably died, in particular in Derna, the most affected area. Four have been identified: Shaheen and Sujan from Rajbari district and Mamun and Shihab from Narayanganj district.

The Bangladeshi embassy in Libya is in constant contact with the authorities in the affected areas, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to monitor the fate of its nationals.

The Bangladeshi government is in touch with its Libyan counterpart and the expatriate community in order to obtain updated information on the situation and follow the progress of rescue operations, as well as conduct the necessary procedures to repatriate the bodies of those who have died.

The embassy is also trying to find out the names and addresses of the two unidentified bodies. To this end, it has asked Libyan authorities to allow its staff to visit the cyclone-hit areas.

About 14.9 million Bangladeshis have left their country for work in 176 countries around the world.