It is feared the number of people killed by the cyclone - which destroyed whole villages - will rise by the hundreds with more than 2,200 already dead.
Caritas Australia chief Jack de Groot said emergency food has been delivered through local partner Caritas Bangladesh.
“Our long term involvement and presence on the ground in many of the affected communities ensures we can make an efficient and effective response,” Mr de Groot said.
He said food aid is of particular concern, as the cyclone destroyed winter crops. Fishermen have also lost their sources of income.
“Thousands of people are too poor to have any food stocks in their homes,” he said.
Tarps, sheeting and blankets are also being distributed.
Mr de Groot added that the initial allocation of $50,000 was for urgent requirements - food, clean water and shelter - and further assistance will depend on requirement.
Pope Benedict has appealed for international solidarity and has encouraged people to make “every possible effort to help these our brothers and sisters who have been so sorely tried."
Caritas Australia is accepting donations to assist the victims of Cyclone Sidr. The phone number is 1800 024 413 and donations can also be made at www.caritas.org.au
Caritas Australia delivers urgent support to Bangladesh cyclone survivors (Caritas Australia 19/11/07)
Condolences to victims of Bangladesh Cyclone (Vactican Information Service 19/11/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas responds to Bangladesh deaths (CathNews, 23/04/04)
Caritas mobilises over Kenyan floods (CathNews, 08/12/06)
Caritas acting on Africa's 'tsunami toll every week' (CathNews, 08/02/05)
Cyclone: Caritas was on the ball (CathNews, 08/01/03)