Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal for those affected by Kerala’s deadly floods, targetting some of the southern Indian state’s poorest and most vulnerable villages.
The appeal will enable the charity to scale up the life-saving assistance it is already providing in Kerala, where more than 1 million people are sheltering in relief camps.
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.
Ram Kishan, Christian Aid’s Regional Emergency Manager for South Asia, said: “What I have seen and been hearing here is on a scale not seen for a hundred years. Christian Aid’s appeal for support is needed to help us provide clean water, shelter and emergency food supplies and more important livelihood support for people who have been forced to flee their homes."
Christian Aid’s South Asia Emergency Programme Officer Shivani Rana, who is in Kerala, said: “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. 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 will target 20,000 people initially. It 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 people groups 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.
To donate to the Christian Aid Kerala Floods Appeal, visit www.caid.org.uk/kerala.
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.
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