The activities proposed hereafter are still subject to the adoption of the financing decision ECHO/WWD/BUD/2013/01000
The European Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection’s (DG ECHO) foreseen activities in India in 2013 will focus on alleviating the emergency needs arising from protracted crisis in the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J+K), in the districts of central India affected by the Naxalite insurgency and in the North-eastern states. Additionally, DG ECHO will target emergency needs in central India stemming from malnutrition and localized food insecurity.
Jammu and Kashmir – the roots of the conflict originated with independence and partition in 1947 and the 1990s saw an intensification of the crisis, with various militant groups fighting either for independence or for seceding to join Pakistan.
The increased presence of militant groups, several of whom receive support from outside India, together with the imposition of special emergency laws, compounds the humanitarian impact on civilians. Although the intensity of the conflict has decreased since summer 2010, low level violence continues to occur, leading to casualties, both combatant and non combatant, as a consequence of militant infiltrations, arbitrary detentions and disappearances, custodial deaths and reprisals, in a climate of repeated violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Heavy handed responses by the security services lead to occasional upsurges of civilian protests from an increasingly alienated population, which endures both sustained disruption and deterioration of the economy, inadequate access to quality basic social services and unraveling of traditional community ties. With 183 fatalities registered in 2011, the underlying causes of the conflict remain unchanged, with no end-in-sight.
The Naxalite crisis – described in April 2007 by the Prime Minister of India as “India’s most serious internal security threat”, the conflict now affects over 180 of India's 602 districts. Its intensity remains heaviest in the South of Chhattisgarh state, where DG ECHO is concentrating its activities. Official estimates speak of 600-700 deaths yearly but the unofficial count is well over 1,000, with over 100,000 (non static figure) civilians displaced, often in neighboring states.
Although casualties have oscillated since 2009, when there was a marked increase in hostilities and high-profile attacks, the civilian population continues to face direct attacks, living in an atmosphere of fear and violence with deteriorating access to basic social services and reduced mobility. Tribal communities living in remote villages are most affected. The conflict involves a multiplicity of actors, including different State security services, Naxalite armed groups and vigilante/militia organizations. The proliferation of combatants has resulted in repeated violations of IHL and frequent human rights abuses are reported. Future prospects are pessimistic, as the conflict stems directly from a situation of chronic under-development, compounded by serious land rights issues and competition for natural resources.