September 04, 2017
Recent floods have devastated millions of lives across South Asia. Nepal, in specific, suffered a severe damage to its public, livestock, agriculture, industry, among others.
In this regard, the Nepal Government is already undertaking necessary relief measures and international bodies are gearing up for extending their support to the flood victims.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) also issued a press release on August 22, 2017, wherein, it informed about its plan to raise funds globally for supporting flood victims.
“IFRC and Nepal Red Cross (NRC) are launching a global appeal for about 3.5 million Swiss francs to support 81,000 people living in the most-seriously affected parts of the country. IFRC has provided a start-up loan of 500,000 Swiss francs to ensure that resources are immediately available,” said IFRC in its official release.
Describing the victims’ situation, Jagan Chapagain, Under Secretary General for Programmes and Operations, IFRC said, “This is the worst flooding that parts of South Asia have seen in decades. Entire communities have been cut off. The only way to get aid to some of these villages is by boat and many are running out of food.”
Jagan raised concerns over disease threat among victims. Stating that floodwaters have become a breeding ground for deadly diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria, he also raised suspicion over spread of other diseases like dengue and Japanese encephalitis.
“We are delivering aid, food, water and other vital supplies but this disaster is one of the biggest we have ever faced. We are appealing for global support,” said Mozharul Huq, Secretary General, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.
The Government of Nepal has also sought international support for relief measures to flood victims.
In a recent move, the Government of United Kingdom (UK) has come forward to extend its support to flood victims.
As a monsoon flood response, the Department for International Development (DFID), UK announced GBP 400,000 fund allocation to the Nepal Red Cross Society, in collaboration with the British Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross.
Through this fund, UK aims at ensuring water supply to 13,000 people, food and financial support to 3,000 victims, health-related support to women and child victims.
The European Commission has come forward to provide Rs 24.2 million (EUR 200 000) in humanitarian aid funding to the victims affected by floods and landslides across the country. This aid is expected to benefit around 35,000 Nepalese hit by the disaster.
This move by the European Union (EU) is coming after a IFRC’s call for global attention to support flood victims. Through this fund, EU intends to support IFRC and NRC in delivering much-needed assistance to the affected families, said a statement issued by EU on August 22, 2017.
According to the release, hygiene promotion activities are also planned in targeted districts to tackle with water-borne diseases caused by floodwaters.
The Government of Japan has also provided relief material worth Rs 23.4 million to the Government of Nepal in support of flood victims in the southern plains of Nepal.
“The Japanese Government and Japanese citizens have not forgotten the friendship and compassion given to Japan during the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and in the Kumamoto Earthquake in April last year by the Government and people of Nepal,” said Masashi Ogawa.
In a recent update, the Government of Republic of Korea (ROK) has agreed to Nepal Government’s request to support flood victims.
In this regard, the Government of ROK announced USD 200,000 as humanitarian assistance to Nepal, to the damages caused by floods and landslides across the country.
An official statement in this regard was issued by the Embassy of ROK in Kathmandu, which informed that the Government of ROK’s assistance is expected to contribute to the emergency relief efforts in the affected areas.
The Non-Resident Nepal Association (NRNA) of Thailand has also extended a financial assistance of Rs 1 million to the flood victims of Saptari District on the south-eastern plain in Tarai.
“The amount has been transferred to NRNA Flood Relief Fund,” said NRNA in a statement, informing that the donation amount was handed over to the NRNA International Coordination Council Member Khagendra Raj Dhakal.
NRNA Thailand Treasurer Kanchha Gurung informed that Rs 730,079 would be transferred to the NRNA Relief Fund for relief package distribution and Rs 230,079 to the NRNA Women Welfare Fund to distribute hygiene kits to women victims in Saptari District.
As of August 25, 2017, the total death toll (due to floods) in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, altogether, increased to 1200 with more than 850 people killed in six Indian states, around 150 people in Nepal and around 134 people in Bangladesh.
Apart from this, more than 90,000 houses in Nepal were badly hit and crops in 10,583 hectares of land have been washed away in Bangladesh with an additional 600,587 hectares partially damaged.
IFRC had earlier released a report, wherein, it said the number of flood-affected people in these three countries crossed 24 million with an estimate of more than 700 death casualties.
According to IFR, over 1,800 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are working alongside local authorities to prevent further deaths and help communities withstand and recover from the floods.
Various international and local aid agencies and rescue teams are already undertaking continuous relief measures across the region to save millions of others hit by the disaster.
“People across the region urgently need our help. But their needs are now so immense they will not be met without international support,” says Jagan Chapagain.