Supercyclone Relief in India: Update December 1999

Situation Report
Originally published
"Caritas India acknowledges with appreciation all the pledges made so far. As we go forward in shouldering this massive task of rehabilitating Orissa, we hope we can intervene in the lives of the poor and create a sustainable community development." - Fr. Ivan Joseph, Caritas India's Executive Director
Catholic Relief Services continues to battle the devastation left behind from the Orissa Supercyclone. The agency is assisting more than 142,000 families in 480 villages. Close to 69,800 people have received medical assistance.

A $1 million dollar grant to Catholic Relief Services from the United States Agency for International Development is complementing ongoing agency emergency relief efforts. Catholic Relief Services will use this grant to help 30,000 farm families restart their lives. Each family will receive a three-month relief package including a kit of household cooking utensils, plastic roofing sheets, simple tools and vegetable seeds.

Catholic Relief Services' Activities:

Catholic Relief Services continues to work with Caritas and 25 teams of people tasked with reaching 289 villages. Each 15-person team includes a doctor, a nurse and a paramedic.

Staff are moving thousands of tons of food and non-food relief materials to 12 Archdiocesan relief teams working in the worst affected districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsingpur, Jajpur, Cuttack and Puri.

  • Items distributed include:
  • 625 bags of bread
  • 4,586 cartons of biscuits
  • 11,946 bags of bulgur
  • 20,200 bottles of water
  • 1,917 cartons of oil
  • Rice
  • Eating utensils
  • 29 rolls of plastic sheets
  • 2,020 bundles of tarps
  • 35,430 blankets
  • 2,540 surgical gloves
  • 33 cartons of candles
  • 33 cartons of match boxes
Catholic Relief Services is committed not only to emergency relief but also longer-term rehabilitation. Future activities, in coordination with local partners, will include the construction of low-cost cyclone-safe houses, repairing and reconstructing damaged buildings, and focusing on health and sanitation.

Background of the Situation:

The Supercyclone has claimed the lives of over 9,500 people while thousands are missing. Eighty percent of Orissa's original population has been killed. Ten million people are remain homeless, over 1 million dwellings were destroyed and 350,000 head of livestock were lost. Cities are without electricity and phone lines are completely severed.

Catholic Relief Services has been working in India for more than 50 years. The agency has a total of five offices in the country, located in Delhi, Lucknow, Calcutta, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. All offices support activities in the programming areas of food security, health, education, agriculture, humanitarian assistance and small enterprise development.

Your support is needed.

Donations can also be made by calling: 1-800-736-3467
or by sending checks to: P.O. Box 17090 - Baltimore, Maryland 21203-7090.

Copyright=A91999 CRS