Period covered by this update: 14 October 2013 to 14 May 2014 CHF 500,000 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 15,000 families (75,000 beneficiaries) and to replenish disaster preparedness stocks.
Summary: Cyclone Phailin was rated as a very severe cyclone that hit India in October 2013. Over 1.1 million residents in Odisha state, which has a population of 41.9 million, were evacuated before the storm and due to the floods that followed. An estimated 13.23 million people were affected; 47 people were reported dead.
Seventeen districts and 18,374 villages in total have been affected. In Andhra Pradesh 16 districts and 5,000 villages were affected by this severe cyclone. Cyclone Phailin was a unique disaster – some districts were severely affected due to high speed winds; whereas others were affected by flooding due to very heavy rain fall. This demanded customised response to cater needs of the affected communities.
IRCS with its enthusiastic volunteers in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh was involved with communities, since the early warning was issued. IRCS volunteers and members were key to ensure that the relief supplies reach the most vulnerable people and responding the disaster. They delivered non-food items (NFIs) during the relief operation, provided treated drinking water and promoted hygiene practices in the affected communities and helped various donors to assist people whose houses were damaged to restore better living condition, in a participatory manner.
An operational plan in complementary to the DREF operation was developed, including replenishment of relief stock, and field activities in water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. The plan was incorporated in the India Development Operational Plan (DOP) 2013, which has been carried forward to DOP 2014.
This DREF operation was initially approved for six months. Due to late reporting from the field on the utilization of the NFIs released by the IRCS national headquarters’ (NHQ), the replenishment of NFIs was initiated in late. The tendering process was also delayed due to several holidays in the months of March and April and national and state elections. Hence, a one-month extension was requested to complete the replenishment by mid-May 2014.
Partners who contributed to this DREF operation include the Austrian Red Cross, Belgium Red Cross and government, Canadian Red Cross Society and government, DG-ECHO, Netherlands Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross and government as well as allocation from the Tsunami Residual Fund.
Of the total DREF received, only CHF 437,299 or 87 per cent was spent. The procurement of bed sheet was not carried out as the supplier could not meet the set timeline. The balance of CHF 62,701 will be returned to the DREF pot.