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Bangladeshi farmers drown in debt as floods destroy crops

Posted: 12.11.2016 no comments


Read the full article online at http://www.irinnews.org


bangladesh_1“Months of flooding have wiped out entire villages and crops in Bangladesh, pushing farmers deeper into a cycle of debt that they can’t escape without more government help. About 4.2 million people have been affected by flooding in at least 19 districts since July, according to the government and aid agencies. They are the worst inundations to hit the country since 2007’s so-called “mega-floods”, and the situation is expected to worsen as the monsoon rains continue through September, the European Commission’s humanitarian arm, ECHO, warned. More than 162,000 people are in need of food aid, and the $4.3 million it will cost to provide that is only 23 percent funded, according to the Food Security Cluster. The government is distributing rice, dry food, and cash to help the most vulnerable people make it through the next three months until the next cropping season.


Short-term assistance is welcome, say farmers, but it won’t help them escape the crippling debt that they sink deeper into with every major flood. Lal Chan Mia said flooding completely destroyed his 3.2 acres of rice in the village of Shibalay, about 100 kilometres northeast of the capital, Dhaka, in Manikganj District. “I had to borrow money to cultivate my land,” he told IRIN. “Now I’ll have to repay the loan,  although the crops are damaged.” He will also need to borrow money to feed his family of six until the next harvest, in addition to taking out another loan to buy seeds.”


Read the full article online at http://www.irinnews.org