DEC members and their partners are already providing food, water, shelter, sanitation and health support in Bangladesh, writes Monica Blagescu
Dr Joseph Mullen calls for a speedy response for displaced Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar and asks how funds raised by the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal will be spent (Letters, 9 October). All DEC member charities have longstanding experience and are registered to respond to emergencies across Bangladesh. For example, Care International has been working in Bangladesh since 1949; Save the Children has 800 members of mostly local staff, and the British Red Cross is supporting the relief effort through the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which has staff and a network of volunteers across the country, including the border areas. Relief assistance funded by the DEC is not delivered in a vacuum but on the basis of workplans approved by the government of Bangladesh and in close collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). DEC members are key operational partners in the UN response plan recently agreed for this crisis.
Dr Mullen is correct that the situation facing those reaching Bangladesh is desperate. Recent floods and the remoteness of some areas make the aid response incredibly tough. But DEC member charities and their national partners are already providing food, water, shelter, sanitation and health support to people fleeing across the border and their host communities in Bangladesh. The government of Bangladesh has created a fast-track approval system to help humanitarian agencies reach people in need faster. With more funds, DEC member charities could significantly scale up their work in the coming days and reach many more people.
Director of programmes and accountability, Disasters Emergency Committee