India

EU brings emergency relief to flood victims in India

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New Delhi, August 23, 2018 – In response to the devastating monsoon floods that swept across large parts of the southern Indian state of Kerala, the European Union has allocated an initial contribution of €190,000 in humanitarian aid funding to support the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) for immediate relief assistance. The aid will directly benefit 25 000 from among the most affected people in some of the worst hit areas of the State.

This EU funding support to the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) will ensure much needed assistance through the distribution of essential shelter and household items including tarpaulins and kitchen sets. As outbreaks of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria are common following flooding, mosquito nets are also being provided, while disease prevention and hygiene promotion activities are being conducted. Special attention will be placed on the most vulnerable populations.

The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

According to the latest figures, at least four hundred people have died and more than one million people are displaced in Kerala after a series of torrential monsoon rains triggered large-scale flooding and landslides that wreaked havoc across 13 of the 14 districts of the State. The floods, the worst to have hit Kerala in almost a century, have damaged or completely destroyed at least 20 000 homes, forcing affected families to seek shelter in thousands of congested relief camps. More than 10 000 kilometres of roads have been submerged or buried in landslides, while power and communication systems have been severely disrupted. The full extent of the damage from the flooding is yet to be fully revealed, as search and rescue operations continue in several locations across the region.

A humanitarian expert from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO) has also been deployed to further assess the situation.

Background

The European Union together with its Member States is the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. The European Commission through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit ECHO's website.

The European Commission has signed a EUR 3 million humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.

The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of EUR 3 million.

For further information, please contact:

Pierre Prakash, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): Pierre.Prakash@echofield.eu