Disaster response: not a matter of 'if', but 'when'

More than 200 natural disasters have been recorded in Bangladesh in the last 25 years, affecting over 300 million lives. But when disaster looms, who do you call?

Disaster response: not a matter of 'if', but 'when'

As the only civilian aviation organisation in the country, when disaster hits, MAF is the one who receives the call for help.

With the ability to land almost anywhere in the country, our amphibious aircraft is a lifeline to Bangladesh’s population of over 160 million people.

Those 160 million are some of the most vulnerable people on earth.

And thanks to the support of people like you, we've been able to save thousands of them.

Yesterday, MAF played a vital role in disaster response efforts in Bangladesh – in fact we've been flying there for over 18 years.

Today, we are enabling communities to recover in the aftermath of severe storms and floods. In fact, MAF responds to crisis situations around the world, and our expertise in aviation, communications and technology are vital to help relief efforts to respond in the critical first hours after disaster strikes.

But tomorrow, we must be ready for when the next disaster hits.

Will you be part of our response?

That call will come. It’s not a question of if, but when.

Give today

The MAF floatplane flies over Satkhira, southwest Bangladesh, where nearly the entire area is covered by water.

Fast response for ECHO to cyclone Mahasen

When cyclone Mahasen struck the Bay of Bengal in 2013. Almost a million people were forced to flee their homes. But MAF was there, and even before the storm wrought its havoc, our staff were liaising with key humanitarian agencies such as the UN and Red Cross. The response had already begun.

 

'MAF was available and ready. We were able to fly as soon as it was physically possible after the storm. MAF was the first plane in the air – it saved us two or three days by road.'

Olivier Brouant, Head of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) in Bangladesh.

MAF's service allowed a swifter response to natural disaster. And thanks to our floatplane and expert relief agencies, many lives have been saved.

MAF saves the UN days of travel

Gerson Brandao, UNOCHA in Bangladesh - MAFWhen the next cyclone hits, the UN will gather experts to form a Joint Assessment Team from over 50 international humanitarian organisations working in Bangladesh. Specialists in food, healthcare, shelter and economic recovery will pool their expertise to reach those in desperate need.

But it could take them days to reach disaster-affected areas due to horrendous traffic and severe flooding. With MAF, these journeys last just a few hours.

‘MAF provides the fastest and most flexible way to travel to hard-to-reach areas. MAF is a great support to the team – and it is the quickest way for us to start designing a project to help.’

Gerson Brandao, Senior Humanitarian Affairs Advisor to the UNOCHA in Bangladesh

Safety is vital to the British Red Cross

Road travel can be tough in Bangladesh at the best of times. When disaster strikes, it becomes very dangerous.

‘Our primary concern is moving quickly. Saving lives, working with everyone and trying to help as many as possible. But we also have to think safety. Some 60-70 people die each week in road traffic accidents. With MAF, we know we will be safe.’

Dave Mather, Country Representative for the British Red Cross

Long-term support for WaterAid

Puja Bosu, WaterAud beneficiary - MAFPuja Bosu is even more fortunate than most of the children getting an education. WaterAid has installed a special latrine system at his school in Satkhira, located on the southern coastline – one of the most flood-prone places on earth. By washing his hands every day at school, Puja is protected from the deadly effects of cholera or diarrhoea, a constant threat in his community.

Over 20 million people lack access to clean water in Bangladesh. MAF supports organisations like WaterAid to bring community development to flood-prone coastal villages, improving the quality of their lives.

You can help us respond

Without MAF’s floatplane, WaterAid wouldn't be able to provide clean water so efficiently, the UN couldn't co-ordinate a response so quickly, and the Red Cross wouldn't be able to guarantee people’s safety.

MAF will be ready to respond when the next disaster hits, and hundreds of lives could be saved.

But together, we can help when the next disaster hits and be ready to rebuild hundreds of lives in Bangladesh.

Give today

Children meet the MAF floatplane iat Bhola, Bangladesh