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Appeal for donations to fight drought

More than five crore people are in the grip of a severe drought in various parts of India. People have been migrating from their villages in search of work and food, leaving behind their cattle, a large number of which have perished.

The Union Government has been providing assistance to the State Governments, but given the extent and severity of the drought, much more needs to be done. And, it can be done with your assistance.

Bearing this in mind, the Prime Minister has issued a special appeal:

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,

More than five crore people are in the

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Catholic Relief Services Continues Relief Support For India's Supercyclone Victims: Update April 2000

Emergency Relief Assistance
Catholic Relief Services and Caritas have reached more than 700,000 persons in nearly 600 villages in Orissa with 6,000 metric tons of food aid donated from the US Government.

"The upcoming monsoon season starts in June yet literally, hundreds of thousands of people lack even basic shelter and food." explained Will Lynch, Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services in India. "Catholic Relief Services continues to work with the local Caritas and Dioceses but so much more assistance is still needed," said Lynch.

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Drought in India

Christian Aid
India could be facing the worst drought this century, according to Christian Aid staff in India and Indian organisations supported by Christian Aid. The states of Rajasthan and Gujarat in western India are the most severely affected, while the states of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa are also experiencing drought to a lesser extent.
Christian Aid's India representative Tom Palukudy said: "The gravest problem at present is that of making drinking water available to people and gaining access to supplies of water and fodder for livestock."
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Update on Drought Situation in Rajasthan and Relief Operations 28 Apr 2000

Due to scanty and inadequate rainfall for the last two years in Rajasthan, the crop has been severely affected. The scarcity problem has been reported in 23406 villages spread in 26 districts and hence on 9.1.2000 these villages were declared as scarcity (drought) affected villages. In all 26.1million people and 34.5 million animals are affected. The drought condition is worsening year after year over the last three years.

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Drought Threatens Another Disaster in Cyclone-Ravaged India

Written by Stephanie Kriner, Staff Writer,, with news reports
A huge consignment of wool blankets recently arrived in the Indian state of Orissa - in the midst of a heat wave. The blankets were meant for victims of last year's devastating cyclone; just a few weeks ago, they were desperately needed for thousands left homeless during India's chilly nights.

But as temperatures soar and people struggle to find water in India's parched western landscape, the blankets are an ironic reminder of the varying weather extremes that have plagued the country in recent months.

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Chronic disaster on the horizon in drought-hit northern India

One of India's most popular tourist destinations is the focus of what a British aid worker in the region describes as a 'looming disaster'.
Speaking from New Delhi, Peter McAllister of CARE International, said: 'Over the past month or so our project workers in Rajasthan have reported a steady decline in the availability and quality of safe drinking water and fodder for animals. Rajasthan is semi-arid at the best of times. There were poor rains in 1999 and no rains at all this year.'

McAllister says that 26 of Rajasthan's

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Six Months After Orissa Cyclones, Survivors are Moving Ahead with their Lives

by Alina Labrada, Press Officer/Writer
April 26, 2000 -- A supercyclone left misery behind in Orissa, India when it hit last October 29. According to government figures, at least 10,000 people died and more than 7 million were left homeless.

Three-year-old Tefan Behera became ill from diarrhea right after the storm struck. He was soon suffering from severe dehydration as a result. As part of its immediate relief programs to the survivors of the cyclone, CARE provided Tefan with an oral rehydration solution until he got well. "The drink tasted like oranges. Tefan

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UN helps India's Orissa prepare for heat wave

NEW DELHI, April 20 (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Thursday it had stepped up efforts to help people in India's eastern Orissa state to offset the impact of an expected heat wave following the loss of tree cover during last year's cyclone.

A U.N. statement said it had taken a series of measures with the state government to help the poor and homeless in anticipation of a scorching summer in the province.

It said temperatures in some parts of Orissa had already touched 43 Celsius (109.4 Fahrenheit) and humidity in coastal districts was as high as 92 percent.

Reuters - AlertNet:

For more humanitarian news and analysis, please visit

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India: Orissa Cyclone Situation Report No. 8

Appeal no. 28/99 - Period covered: 1 March to 5 April 2000
Projects constituting the third, rehabilitation, phase of the operation -- agricultural support, reconstruction, well rehabilitation and food for the extremely vulnerable -- are getting under way, but the food distributions, must contend with outbreaks of hostility from the rest of the community, fired by the widespread and increasing food shortages in the area. Red Cross, UN, NGOs and government agencies operational in the stricken areas of Orissa are closely monitoring developments.

The context

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Cyclone-hit Orissa rebuilds

Christian Aid
Christian Aid's partner-organisations have been helping the homeless and bereaved with emergency food and reconstruction materials in the aftermath of the cyclone which hit the Indian state of Orissa. Christian Aid's appeal raised £1.3 million, boosted by a further £410,000 from the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.
The cyclone was the worst on record, with wind speeds of 223 miles per hour. Across the coastal plain, ten million people were made homeless and at least 10,000 people killed.

The Churches Auxiliary for Social Action,