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Dhaka Tribune

Greta Thunberg pledges €100,000 to aid flood relief efforts in Bangladesh, India

Greta has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize

Update : 29 Jul 2020, 01:40 PM

Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg has pledged to donate €100,000 to multiple organisations that are currently conducting relief efforts in the flood-hit regions of Bangladesh and northeast India.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Greta, who has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, said: “Right now millions are suffering from extreme flooding fuelled by the climate crisis in India and Bangladesh - already hit by the devastation of cyclone Amphan and Covid-19. My foundation will donate €100.000 prize money to Brac, Goonj, Action Aid India- and Bangladesh.

“I'm supporting these NGOs - working tirelessly and in desperate need of funds - to make sure help reaches communities affected as soon as possible. If you're able, please consider donating to the relief effort. Visit their websites for details, even the smallest amount helps,” another tweet said.

Another tweet also mentioned ActionAid Bangladesh and Brac for the cause.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir said: “We are facing loss and damage due to climate change. We work in the field of climate justice. ActionAid Bangladesh is familiar with Greta Thunberg Foundation due to our work in the climate justice field.

“ActionAid Sweden is working in Sweden. Greta Thunberg Foundation communicated with ActionAid Bangladesh and ActionAid Sweden to help flood victims. This money will be expended among flood victims,” she added.

In a statement on Brac’s website on Tuesday, Brac Bangladesh Executive Director Asif Saleh said: "Funds are exhausted, and support is urgently needed to help those suffering on the ground. The unusually prolonged flooding, combined with the fact that many communities are still recovering from Cyclone Amphan and the country is in the grip of a global pandemic have combined in a perfect storm of factors which has seen millions of people lose homes, livelihoods and thousands of acres of croplands vital for food security. 

“Whole families are living on the sides of roads, without drinking water, food or access to sanitation. BRAC is on the ground in all 64 districts in Bangladesh and is working closely with the government to reach the people in the most need," he added.

The donation comes after Greta was awarded €1 million for winning the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, announced last Monday 20 July. 

“The donations will go to 3 NGOs in desperate need of funds for flood relief work in India and Bangladesh. Brac, who will receive €25,000, are working on the ground in Bangladesh to provide critical relief for impacted families, including dry food, temporary shelter and health services. ActionAid India and Bangladesh, receiving €50,000, are working in both countries to provide emergency relief, as well as long term rebuilding. Goonj, receiving €25,000, are providing clothes, food, medicines, and other essential items to affected areas in India,” the Brac statement added.

The Brac statement also quoted Greta Thunberg as saying: "The climate crisis is urgent, and people, particularly in the Global South, are suffering devastating impacts already today. Millions of people in South Asia have been severely affected by recent flooding, at a time when many had already lost so much from Covid-19 and Cyclone Amphan. International media are largely ignoring this devastation, but we must do everything possible to directly support those suffering on the ground, who are in desperate need of resources. 

“I am incredibly privileged to be in a position to be able to donate such sums of money through my foundation, and we are supporting these organisations to make sure it reaches communities affected by the flooding as soon as possible. If you are able, please consider donating to the relief effort," she said in the statement.

As of Wednesday, the water level in many of the rivers in the Ganges basin in Bangladesh has been swelling continuously for the last couple of days, deteriorating the flood situation in the region further amidst onrushing of water from upper catchment caused by heavy downpour.

Of the total 30 river points being monitored in the Ganges basin regularly, water levels increased at 15 stations, decreased at 13 stations and remained stable at two points at 9am on Wednesday, worsening the flood situation in the char (river bed) and other low-lying areas.

However, the rivers were flowing below danger level at 22 points, and above the danger mark at seven points this morning, reports BSS.

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