United Methodist Committee on Relief

Fariha Khalil: Achieving Self-Sufficiency

UMCOR Disaster Response Report

Bangladesh is prone to flooding due to its location on the Ganges Delta and the many tributaries flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Coastal flooding, combined with the bursting of riverbanks, is common and severely affects the landscape and society of Bangladesh. According to a recent government report, approximately 300,000 families have been affected by flooding in the last year. The Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, and Sirajganj districts are the most affected areas in the north and northeast regions of Bangladesh. A three-month emergency project funded by UMCOR identified a large number of the vulnerable population. Here is one of their stories.

Fariha Khalil*: Achieving Self-Sufficiency  

Fariha Khalil, 89, is from the small village of Batpiary, and like many other senior citizens, she lives alone. Although she receives a monthly stipend from the government, most of that is spent on medicine. 

Recent flooding decimated her small tent-shaped house near the Jamuna River. Desperate, Khalil turned to begging. Then a miracle happened. She was selected as a beneficiary of the “Emergency Response to the Flood-Affected Communities in Sirajganj District Project,” implemented by Muslim Aid and funded by UMCOR. She received a small grant, along with a hygiene kit. 

Khalil has plans to buy some chickens with the money. She is grateful to God, Muslim Aid, and UMCOR for this support. “I have got hope now to live,” she said. “I will be able to eat and to buy enough medicine. You people helped me like you helped my children.”

*Names have been changed to protect the beneficiary’s privacy.

* Written by Tanvir Elahi & the local team in Bangladesh.