Some 22,700 villages in 167 districts have been affected, covering an area of approximately, 6.4 million hectares, of which an estimated 2.9 million hectares of crop land have been lost. The housing sector was also seriously affected, with some 670,000 houses partially or completely damaged.
RESPONSE: ACT members Lutheran World Federation-India and Church's Auxiliary for Social Services (CASA), a long-time CWS partner, are cooperating in providing relief assistance in Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh states by distributing food and non-food items to a varying number of families.
The LWS program seeks to assist some 10,000 families in some of the worst-affected parts of West Bangal, particularly those with a concentration of marginalized groups. Aid will include shelter, food, clothing, and medical assistance. The project will end in August 1999.
The CASA program is targeting its humanitarian aid at 4,000 families who have lost most of their belongings and are now living in the relief camps set up by the district administration and state government. They are in desperate need of clothes, domestic kitchen utensils, bedsheets and blankets. CASA will be distributing 500 sets of relief material to flood survivors. The aid will be distributed this month.
LWF-India: Food, shelter, relief items,
medical assistance, water and sanitation: $757,103
CASA: Relief sets $50,333
TOTAL APPEAL TARGET: $ 807,436
CWS RESPONSE: CWS is supporting this appeal and is seeking to meet a goal of $80,000 in denominational support. Denominations and others can designate funds to CASA. The Christian Church (Disciples) and the Church of the Brethren have pledged their support of this appeal; the United Church of Christ has pledged $8,000.
HOW TO HELP: Please send contributions to CWS/ERO in New York and designate to CWS/ACT Appeal, India Flood Relief (#976309). Those wanting more information on this ACT appeal, including complete budget information, should contact the CWS Emergency Response Office.
Call the CWS HOTLINE for updates: (800) 456-1310.
For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding, contact CWS Emergency Response.
Telephone: (212) 870-3151
After-hours emergency pager: (800) 780-0853
Internet Web Site: http://www.ncccusa.org/CWS/emre