As climate disasters increase across the globe, standard seasonal changes like fires and monsoons have become extreme, lethal events, destroying communities and displacing millions.
As of June 21, over 9.5 million people have been impacted by monsoon flooding in Bangladesh and northeast India, according to Reuters. Most recent reports share that the worst floods have killed at least 69 people in the last two weeks.
Monsoons bring heavy rains to South Asia between June and October and can often trigger floods, especially in Bangladesh, which lies low in the Himalayas.
Although local emergency responders have been working to evacuate people and provide safe shelter, food, and water, the floods in the Sylhet region are the most severe floods the area has experienced in more than a century.
The United Nations children’s fund told Reuters that 90% of its health facilities have been inundated, and cases of waterborne diseases are increasing.
At least four million people, including 1.6 million children, have become stranded and without emergency supplies in Bangladesh. In neighboring India states Assam and Meghalaya, 4.7 million people have been forced out of their homes, and 330,000 are staying in shelters, the government told Reuters.
These areas have received 134% more rainfall than the average this time of year, according to India Meteorological Department.
As these horrific climate disasters loom, it can feel overwhelming and hard to help. However, just like in any heartbreaking global event, we will find the helpers. Below, find a list of small ways you can help those impacted by the floods.
7 Ways To Support Emergency Relief Efforts in Bangladesh and India
We get it; there is no shortage of heartbreaking and scary events happening in the news. Trust us. But spreading awareness about tragedies of this magnitude helps get international aid to the places where people need it most.
Share news about the floods, first-person accounts on social media, or resources to help (like this guide!) and help educate your network about this ongoing crisis.
Provide food by donating to World Central Kitchen
Bangladesh is currently facing significant food shortages as a result of the flooding. Thousands could be at risk of starvation and malnutrition if they don't get access to food (and clean drinking water).
World Central Kitchen is already on the ground providing free meals to people in need. WCK's unique model allows for a double impact. They provide food in the aftermath of disasters — and they do so by partnering with local food suppliers, chefs, and volunteers whenever possible. This ensures they're supporting the community economically, giving skilled locals the opportunity to turn their talents into impact, and, of course, also providing food.
In Bangladesh, they've already shared stories of partnering with a local fish trader for assistance navigating communities by boat, a local government council official for community organizing, and local women to cook and distribute meals.
You can support World Central Kitchen's work with a one-time or recurring donation.
Donate to crowdfunding campaigns.
Although financially supporting large nonprofits is a great way to provide emergency aid during climate disasters, individuals, communities, and small organizations on the ground need your immediate support.
If you can, donate to crowdfunding campaigns, which often use your support to immediately provide necessary resources, and are organized by people who are in the immediate vicinity and impact of the disaster.
Even if you can only spare a couple of dollars or can share widely, your support can mean the difference between someone going hungry and making it to a safe shelter.
Donate to Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief is a humanitarian relief agency providing care amidst global emergencies, as well as conflict in areas like Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, and Syria.
Support Islamic Relief’s campaign as teams work to bring millions of South Asians to safety during the floods and repair vital infrastructure in Bangladesh and India.
Donate to UNICEF
UNICEF is urgently seeking $2.5 million in funding for emergency response in Bangladesh and India, as it provides life-saving supplies and services to children and families.
Working quickly, UNICEF has already dispatched 400,000 water purification tablets to support 80,000 households in the area with clean water for a week. Thousands of hygiene kits, water containers, and emergency medical supplies have also been distributed.
Help UNICEF continue this relief work with a donation.
Learn about the impact of climate change — and demand action.
Climate change is at the forefront of these ruinous weather events around the globe. In order to reduce these disasters and save lives (and the planet), we need to be well-versed in climate change and policy.
Hold news outlets accountable for reporting on climate change
It’s always important to consume media with a critical eye, and climate change is no exception. In many extreme weather events, popular media does not often connect disasters to climate change, calling them “natural disasters,” instead of “climate disasters.”
There is nothing natural about this much devastation.
Words matter, and it is more important than ever to make sure folks are getting the accurate information they need to understand the seriousness of climate change.
Read our guide (and email script) to help constructively hold news outlets accountable for climate reporting.