The leader of Bangladesh's military-backed interim government appealed for aid from home and abroad to help millions displaced in severe flooding across the country. Fakhruddin Ahmed said in a live address televised that Bangladesh would welcome the help of foreign countries and international donor agencies. The urgent appeal came as flood waters inundated thousands of villages and some 40 percent of Bangladesh. Each year at least a fifth of the flood-prone nation's land is covered by water. About nine million people were displaced or marooned as waters receded from the north and spread to central parts of the country, the ministry added. Crops on 1.4 million acres (560,000 hectares) of farmland and 16,500 kilometres (10,200 miles) of roads were also completely or partially damaged.