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June to October – the months of monsoon rains – is the typical disaster season in South Asia. The year 2007 is proving to be no exception. News broadcasts predictably cover the millions who have been affected by the floods as shanty dwellings collapse, school buildings crumble, roads get waterlogged, standing crops get swept away, women, men, and children are marooned without food, water and sanitation, and families are forced to migrate in distress. An estimated 20 million people have been affected in two-thirds of Bangladesh, low-lying Terai regions of Nepal, and vast stretches of the Gangetic plain in Eastern India. In some areas, the scale of the devastation in 2007 is truly unprecedented.

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