Announcing the move, Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, spoke of the 'shocking picture emerging from the coastal regions of Bangladesh'. He continued: 'The Commission's humanitarian field experts, who are in the stricken region, have reported total devastation in some villages; people left with nothing and living in the rubble. The homes of around 280,000 people have been swept away. The immediate and critical needs are for food, clean drinking water, shelter materials, clothes, blankets and cooking utensils. The enormous damage to infrastructure, coupled with losses of both crops and livestock, mean that urgent action is also needed on basic rehabilitation. Otherwise, disease and malnutrition could claim many more victims'.
The new funds will meet vital needs for water, food, shelter and household items such as soap, cooking utensils and jerrycans.
Commission humanitarian funds are managed by its Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) and channelled through partner implementing agencies including non-governmental organisations that specialise in international relief, United Nations agencies and the Red Cross/Crescent movement.