11 August 2015 - More than 16,000 of the most vulnerable people in flood-hit areas of India and Pakistan will get help such as food, water and shelter following a grant of £158,000 to Christian Aid from the UK’s Start Fund.
“These new and additional funds will allow our Christian Aid and local partners in Pakistan and India to reach thousands of already poor women, men and children who have lost almost everything,” said Ram Kishan, Christian Aid’s Regional Emergency Manager for South Asia.
“They have fled their ruined homes for higher land and are stranded with little or no food, water, shelter or medical help. Some have had to drink contaminated water from flooded wells and tube-wells and many have lost their homes and crops - their source of income.
“This new funding means our partners can give them help to survive until the floods have receded and they can start to rebuild their lives.”
In India, more than 200 have died in the floods, while more than one million are in emergency shelters. Christian Aid’s local partner organisation Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) is working in some of the worst affected parts of West Bengal in the east of India, where people are living in the open, without shelter or clean water.
The new Start money will enable IGSSS to provide tarpaulins, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and water purifying equipment to the most vulnerable families, such as dalits and those with disabled or older family members. In total, well over 10,500 people will benefit from the emergency aid.
In Pakistan, some 170 people are thought to have been killed in the floods while hundreds of thousands more have had their homes and crops ruined. This has left many destitute and further indebted to their landlords on whose land they grow their crops which they sell partly to pay rent to the landlords.
Christian Aid’s partner organisation Community World Service Asia (CWSA) had already started distributing one month’s food supply to families stranded on river banks in the Ghotki area of Sindh Province in the south of the country with support provided by Christian Aid.
The new Start money will fund food packages for a further 1,235 of the most vulnerable families - around 6,800 people. The packages include flour, cooking oil, lentils, sugar, tea and matches.
Neill Garvie, Pakistan Programme Manager, said: “We have supported CWSA over the last three years to help communities to become more resilient to floods, so they can save their own lives, assets and sources of income.
“However, the threat of increased flooding from further monsoon rain, rising flood levels and glacial melt from rising temperatures here is severe and people are in great need. Many still have not recovered from the catastrophic floods of 2010.”
The Start Fund was launched in 2014 with contributions from the UK’s Department for International Development, Irish Aid and latterly the Dutch government. It is administered by the Start Network, a consortium of 24 leading NGOs, including Christian Aid, which work together to strengthen the humanitarian aid system with rapid support where necessary.
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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 www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk