22 August 2007The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced the start of a new round of emergency food distributions in flood-hit parts of Bangladesh, where the agency hopes to help more than 800,000 people worst hit by the disaster. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced the start of a new round of emergency food distributions in flood-hit parts of Bangladesh, where the agency hopes to help more than 800,000 people worst hit by the disaster. The move, funded by a $1.3 million donation from Australia, follows two earlier distributions to more than 335,000 people, WFP said in a news release.The agency said it will distribute over 2,500 metric tons of rice in this round by the end of August.“Thousands of poor families would have remained destitute due to the loss of their crops, livestock and in some cases, family members, as water started receding. The Australian assistance has enabled WFP to respond quickly to feed these vulnerable poor families who are in need of food,” said WFP Representative in Bangladesh Douglas Broderick.In cooperation with Government relief efforts, WFP food assistance is being distributed by WFP staff, Government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community representatives. The first convoys, carrying high energy biscuits, were organized jointly by WFP and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).Mr. Broderick said WFP stands ready to provide more assistance. “We urge more donors to step forward with funding for early recovery programmes which are crucial in serving poor people in the aftermath of bad floods in Bangladesh,” he said.A recent UN report cited preliminary official estimates indicating that Bangladesh lost some 854,000 hectares of rice paddies to floods that hit in July, while another 582,000 hectares were partially damaged.