Dark settles on Majher Char, a 3×2 km long island in the middle of the Ballashar River in the Bay of Bengal. Last week, this was the scene of death and utter destruction when Cyclone Sidr came ashore, carrying in it’s wake a 5 meter wall of water that washed over this island of 1800 inhabitants. Boats carrying relief goods are plying the river.
Relief operations are underway throughout Bangladesh even as the story fades from headlines. Tens of thousands await food, water, and medicine as aid filters into the region. The storm killed about 3,500 people, left thousands missing or injured, and displaced over 2 million.
“It looks like a war to save people, mostly living under the open sky, from being battered by hunger and cold and disease,” said a witness in Barguna district, one of the areas hardest hit by Cyclone Sidr which struck on Nov. 15.
I hope we continue to engage in this ‘war‘ in South Asia and beyond remembering that ‘humanity‘ bears no delineations based on boundaries, culture, or religion. United as one world, we are most capable of providing relief and hope to those who need it most.