Christian Aid is bringing emergency relief to families in India, Nepal and Bangladesh as more than a thousand people have been killed and 40 million more affected by floods.
The charity has deployed £45,000 of emergency funds and is also using a further £200,000 from Irish Aid and the DFID-backed START fund to provide 4000 households with hygiene kits, tarpaulin, shelter materials and community water filters to provide safe drinking water. Elsewhere 20,000 families are being taught about good hygiene practices to protect themselves from diseases.
Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Asia & Middle East, Madara Hettiarachchi, said she hoped people wouldn’t forget people in South Asia whilst floods in Texas were dominating the news agenda.
“These are some of the worst floods we’ve seen in South Asia in decades and the impact is likely only going to get worse," she said. "Farms and livestock have been washed away so food security is going to be a huge problem in the coming days and we will likely see the death toll rise.
“The good news is we are reaching people and bringing them the vital help they need to stay alive and begin to rebuild their lives.
“We’ve all seen the terrible impact floodwater is having in Texas and that is in a country with 'first-world' infrastructure. The people in South Asia are much less equipped to cope with such a deluge of floodwater which is why they are in such a precarious position.”
She added that scientists are increasingly confident of the links between such events and climate change. She said: “Research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that the most extreme rain events in most regions of the world will increase in intensity by 3-15 per cent, and some places - such as parts of the Asian monsoon region - would experience greater increases.
“It is a reminder that we must respond to the immediate humanitarian needs in South Asia while at the same time decarbonising the global economy in order to reduce the likelihood of such events from happening again. Until we start to address the underlying causes of climate breakdown we will continue to see more human suffering on a massive scale.”
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