The climate crisis and Covid-19 are crying out for international cooperation, writes the prime minister of Bangladesh
One-third of my country was underwater last month. The heaviest rains in almost a decade began and have still not abated. More than 1.5 million Bangladeshis are displaced; tens of thousands of hectares of paddy fields have been washed away. Millions of my compatriots will need food aid this year.
Calamities, alas, never strike alone. The floods, which come in the wake of widespread destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan in May, are making it more difficult to contain the coronavirus. More than 2.4 million people had already been moved from the destructive path of the storm without delivering them into the even greater danger of Covid-19. Yet while the infection and death rates have been contained, concerns remain until a foolproof safeguard is acquired. Economic lockdowns have hit our textile industry and exports and forced hundreds of thousands of our international migrant workers to return home, with the vast majority remaining unemployed.