Distribution of emergency supplies underway in Nepal
DELHI, INDIA (August 29, 2008) – CARE is providing emergency medical assistance and helping evacuate some of the more than 2.6 million people affected by the worst flooding in India’s Bihar state in 50 years. CARE is providing boats to evacuate families and to help deliver aid as part of a massive rescue and relief response in the Indian province.
This year’s devastating monsoon season caused the Kosi River burst its banks along the border of Nepal and India, flooding hundreds of villages and leaving homes completely submerged. Local authorities in India have mounted a massive evacuation of families fleeing the flood-affected areas.
Working through local partners and volunteers, CARE is mobilizing mobile medical teams to provide emergency medical treatment to villagers being evacuated out of the most heavily-affected, remote areas of Supaul district in Bihar. Water-borne diseases such as diarrhea and typhoid pose a major health risk to people surrounded by polluted floodwaters.
“Right now, it’s a matter of saving lives. It’s a matter of getting people to safe locations as fast as possible,” said R.N. Mohanty, the Chief Operating Officer of CARE India. “The floodwaters are making it very difficult to deliver aid to remote areas. People are without basic necessities and they need urgent help.”
Relief teams are delivering aid by boat, as roads and railways have been damaged and submerged. Sweltering heat in recent days has increased the suffering of the survivors, particularly children, pregnant women and the elderly. Those displaced by the flooding are not expected to be able to return to their homes until the floodwaters recede, which could take weeks or months.
Coordinating closely with local authorities and partners, CARE will continue to scale up its emergency response and meet the needs of the affected people in India.
In neighboring Nepal, CARE is continuing to provide emergency supplies such as blankets, children’s clothes, and tarps to 500 of the worst-affected families taking shelter in emergency camps, and providing health support to pregnant women and mothers with small children.
About CARE: CARE has been operating in India since 1950 and in Nepal since 1978. CARE’s ongoing programs in India include maternal and child health, nutrition, micro-finance, education, economic empowerment and emergency response. In Nepal, CARE is focused on natural resources and environmental management, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, rural infrastructure, economic development, education, emergency response and disaster risk reduction.
Melanie Brooks, Media and Communications Coordinator (Geneva)
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