International has launched a multi-country response to flooding in the South Asian countries of India, Bangladesh and Nepal that has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced millions.
Plan International is providing humanitarian relief support to children and families in India, Bangladesh and Nepal who have lost their homes, personal belongings and livelihoods following weeks of heavy, torrential monsoon rains.
Working in close coordination with community partners, in-country humanitarian agencies and government authorities in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, Plan International is responding to the needs of those most affected by the floods and landslides, which have to date, claimed the lives of nearly 250 people and displaced millions across the region.
“Working across all 3 countries, Plan International’s emergency response teams will focus on meeting the immediate needs of affected families, ensuring children and their communities have access to food, water, sanitation and other life-saving items,” says Senait Gebregziabher, Regional Director for Plan International in Asia.
“Our years of experience in Asia have also shown us that children (especially girls) are the most vulnerable victims of disasters and require specific support to ensure their protection and safety, which can often be compromised in an emergency. We have created safe spaces for children, with a special emphasis on girls, and are supporting the re-opening of schools, so children can resume their education as quickly as possible, says Gebregziabher.
In Bangladesh, flooding continues to devastate the northern districts, which has affected more than 3.3 million people. Schools remain closed and almost all village-level roads remain inundated.
Reaching more than 3,500 affected individuals in the last 3 days, Plan International installed 3 water treatment plants in Kurigram district and distributed more than 5,000 litres of clean drinking water.
In India, floods have ravaged the state of Assam and Bihar and authorities are expecting the situation to worsen as rivers flow above the danger mark. Flooding has submerged thousands of homes, agricultural lands and caused damage to neighboring schools.
In Assam, Plan International is prioritising the distribution of safe drinking water, supplementary nutrition, hygiene, and educational materials, and providing child protection support for thousands of affected families. The response team is setting up child-friendly spaces to ensure that during this time of distress, children have a safe space to not only play and heal, but to also regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.
In Bihar, as water levels remain high, access to communities and inconsistent and failed telecommunication lines continue to pose a huge challenge. To address this, Plan International along with its local partners are closely monitoring the situation while determining immediate needs of affected families.
In Nepal, monsoon rains in the Terai region have claimed the lives of more than 100 people and displaced thousands of families whose homes have been destroyed or damaged.
Working in coordination with the District Disaster Rescue Committee, Plan International has started the distribution of food items and tarpaulins for temporary shelter to thousands of families in Rautahat district.
Thousands remain vulnerable
“South Asia is a region vulnerable to natural disasters, triggered by the monsoon rains that occur on an annual basis. In many areas, the road to recovery will be slow, worsened by hampered road access and prolonged water logging.
“Thousands of children, particularly girls and those most vulnerable, will remain at risk if they continue to live in tents and temporary shelters without adequate access to water, food, sanitation and protection. Despite the challenges, it is critical that humanitarian agencies, alongside the government and local partners, reach these families as quickly as possible.
“We are still in the heart of the monsoon season, and any additional rain will prove catastrophic for children and their families already living in dire conditions,” says Gebregziabher.