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Fundraising News: Bangladesh appeal prompts low response

John Plummer

A UK-based Bangladeshi charity's appeal to raise funds for victims of the country's flooding, which has killed hundreds of people and left millions homeless, has got off to a sluggish start.

The Greater Sylhet Development and Welfare Council had hoped the appeal would generate £50,000. But chairman Kalam Choudhury admitted the first week had not gone as well as he had expected.

"We can't tell exactly how much has been collected yet, but we did not get a good response," he said.

Caritas International, the umbrella organisation for 167 Catholic aid agencies worldwide, has launched a £1.1m appeal for the Bangladeshi victims.

UK Caritas member Cafod has pledged to contribute £50,000 towards the target. Cafod hopes the large Bangladeshi population in the UK will compensate for any difficulty in attracting funds from a public bombarded by horrific situations elsewhere.

"Press attention is focused on Iraq and Sudan and the floods in Bangladesh are not as high on the agenda as they would be in normal circumstances," said Cafod spokesman Patrick Nicholson.

He added that unlike Sudan, where hundreds of aid workers were flying in to co-ordinate the relief effort, Caritas Bangladesh already had a network of volunteers on the ground.

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