September 1 2008

Emergency relief programme for flood victims in India

01/09/2008 - After starting an emergency relief programme for flood victims in Nepal two weeks ago, SOS Children's Villages has now also started to provide emergency relief in the Indian province Bihar.

Photo: REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri, courtesy of
Thousands of children are affected by the flooding in large areas of Bihar - Photo: REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri, courtesy of  alertnet.
Large areas of the Indian province of Bihar, which is situated on the border to Nepal, have been flooded. More than two million inhabitants of one of the poorest regions in India have now been directly affected by the flooding of the dam on the Kosi river, which was the result of heavy monsoon rains. Large scale evacuations are being carried out and more than 250,000 houses have already been destroyed.

An SOS emergency team is on the ground in Bihar to carry out a needs assessment and provide the first emergency relief, particularly for children. The new SOS Children’s Village in Begusarai has taken on the role of a base camp and has started to distribute emergency packages containing dry food, baby food, milk powder and clothes to the families affected. An emergency relief centre has also been set up in Purnia, where 1,600 families with around 3,000 children are being provided with relief supplies (baby food, drinking water, medication) and sanitary facilities are being set up.

SOS Children’s Villages has opened all its facilities in Begusarai to the flood victims and has made various offers to the authorities to provide emergency relief. In this way, children who have been separated from their parents can be accommodated and cared for in the SOS Children’s Village until their families are found. Children who have been orphaned might be admitted to the village in Begusarai on a long-term basis.

All emergency relief measures are carried out in close cooperation with the authorities. In the framework of its family strengthening programmes, SOS Children’s Villages would also be in a position to support families affected over a period of six to nine months (by providing food, medical support, childcare, etc.).