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South Asia’s 6m people under flood threat: IFRC

Published : 16 Jul 2019 09:04 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 05:07 AM

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Tuesday feared that nearly six million people across South Asia are under threat from rising flood waters following heavy monsoon rains, reports BSS. “Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers across Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are racing to deliver emergency supplies to communities and prepare them as the situation in many areas is likely to worsen in the coming days, an IFRC press release issued simultaneous from Geneva and Kuala Lumpur today said.

Noting that more than one million displaced in one Indian state alone, the IFRC warned that numbers of affected people is likely to rise and there are growing concerns about potential food shortages and disease outbreaks. “We are seeing growing numbers of displaced and increasing loss of life with each day of rain,” the release said quoting IFRC Regional Director for Asia Pacific Xavier Castellanos.

He said entire communities have been cut off by rising waters, increasing the risk of people going hungry and getting sick. “All of our efforts right now are focused on reaching these people and ensuring that they have the supplies and support needed to withstand coming floods,” he added. In Bangladesh, the release said one third of the country is under water displacing 14,000 people and destroying over 11,000 homes.

About India it said in Assam state over a million people have been displaced after the Brahmaputra River, which flows from the Himalayas into India, burst its banks swamping more than 749 villages. It said worst hit districts in south-eastern Nepal are submerged under water and inaccessible to Red Cross response teams.

“In all three countries, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams prepositioned supplies ahead of the rains so that volunteers can quickly deliver food supplies, first aid, clean water, temporary shelters and hygiene kits to affected communities,” IFRC’s regional director said. More than 1,000 volunteers from the Bangladesh Red Crescent, Nepal Red Cross and Indian Red Cross, have been working alongside local authorities in conduct search and rescue efforts and to provide first aid and relief, said the release.

IFRC teams in the three countries are working alongside their local Red Cross and Red Crescent counterparts to deliver relief and recovery efforts and to coordinate international assistance if and when it is needed, it also said.