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Monsoon season brings misery to millions

    The monsoon season in Asia has wreaked havoc in Bangladesh and Pakistan, affecting three million people and leaving 300,000 people homeless.    The Canadian Red Cross has sent $75,000 to assist the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to provide emergency relief to that region.    “Many people who are already living below the poverty line have lost their homes, crops, and livelihoods,” said Charlie Musoka, emergencies response manager at the Canadian Red Cross.    “After the immediate needs are met, people will need help rebuilding their lives as the floods swept away their source of income.”    Some villages hit by the storms already were vulnerable as the houses are made from mud with thatch roofs situated next to river beds, making it difficult to withstand flooding.    Many people have been without drinking water or electricity for days, and there are more rains forecast in the area. Flash floods have damaged roads and communication lines—hampering attempts to get aid to people hit by storms.    With support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Bangladesh and Pakistani Red Crescent Societies are providing emergency relief to those affected, including search and rescue, helping people to move to safer areas, and the distribution of food, blankets, jerry cans, and temporary shelters.    Canadians are urged to help ease the suffering of this humanitarian crisis.    Those wishing to support relief and recovery activities are encouraged to contribute by donating online at redcross.ca, calling 1-800-418-1111, or contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office.    Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Asia Monsoon/Typhoon 2007” and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe St., Suite 300, Ottawa, Ont., K2P 2P2.    The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.    Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.

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