Kerala floods: Christian Aid bringing life-saving help to 20,000 people

Report
from Christian Aid
Published on 20 Aug 2018 View Original

Christian Aid is responding to Kerala’s exceptionally destructive and deadly floods with life-saving assistance for around 20,000 people who have lost their homes.

The charity is targeting some of the southern Indian state’s poorest and most vulnerable villages. Households will get assistance with safe drinking water, sanitation supplies, hygiene essentials such as soap, and shelter materials including tarpaulin, rope and blankets.

The aid will help people survive the shocking devastation that has reportedly claimed the lives of some 350 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

“Many people are currently sheltering in government-run camps and one major worry is how they’re going to recover their lives when they try to go home,” said Christian Aid’s Emergency Programme Officer Shivani Rana, who is in Kerala.

“For some families, everything they had has been washed away or ruined.”

She added: “The rains have caused flooding and also landslides – and we still don’t know how bad the damage is because many areas remain impossible to reach.”

Christian Aid’s relief work in Kerala has been kick-started with a £77,000 grant from the UK government-backed Start Fund, which releases money quickly after disasters, to enable rapid responses.

The charity has also released £30,000 from its own funds and hopes to scale up its emergency response, working through its local partners in the region.

So far, Christian Aid plans to focus its response on the hard-hit Wayanad district in the north of Kerala and Idukki district in the centre of the state. It will support 10,000 people in each of the two districts, targeting areas where many people are considered to be Dalits and ‘Tribals’ – among the most deprived and excluded in society. 

Over the weekend, Christian Aid and its local partner organisations – including IGSSS (Indo-Global Social Service Society) and CASA (Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action) – responded immediately, buying relief materials and hiring people to deliver these emergency supplies to deluged communities.

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.org.uk