Appalling conditions confronted the Government of Bangladesh in 1972, when the new nation came into being as a consequence of a devastating civil war between the army of West Pakistan and the primarily Bengali population of what until then had been known as East Pakistan. A poor and densely populated region, having more than 80 per cent of its inhabitants directly dependent on agriculture, its real per capita income had remained virtually static over the past decade. The cyclone of 1970 had already ruined much of the agriculture and left many homeless and without work. The catastrophes of civil strife in the spring of 1971 superimposed further physical destruction and an almost total disruption of economic life, causing some 10 million refugees to flee the country, while a similar number were displaced within Bangladesh itself. By this time, normal life had practically ceased over large areas: the land lay fallow, there were no seeds, no tools and few or no cash resources. An even more disturbing factor was the drift of many of the displaced into squatter settlements in or around the towns. In the face of this emergency, in June 1971 UNROD (now UNROB) was set up to help in planning, organizing, and conducting humanitarian relief activities. Several members of the United Nations system contributed assistance, including FAO, IBRD, ICAO ILO, IMF, ITU, UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF, and UNIDO.