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NEW DELHI — International humanitarian agency Oxfam today launched a fundraising appeal for its work to help nearly 500,000 flood victims in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Oxfam will use the money to provide food, emergency shelter, hygiene items, and clean water and sanitation.
Altogether 20 million people in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal have been affected by flooding in the current monsoon, forcing many from their homes.
"Across the region people are struggling to cope with what is for many the worst flooding in living memory,” said Ashvin Dayal, head of Oxfam in South Asia. “Millions of the very poorest have lost their homes, their possessions, and their livelihoods. Thanks to good preparation we have responded quickly and saved lives, but people desperately need our help to get back on their feet again.”
Last week, Oxfam and its partners in Bihar, northern India, managed to rescue stranded villagers using 20 small boats they had ready as part of their disaster contingency plan for the flood-prone area. The groups have also tapped their emergency stocks to provide essential household items and temporary shelter for displaced people.
Oxfam has been working on village-level flood preparedness with local authorities in all the three countries. In Nepal, for instance, preparedness has meant that people’s raised homesteads have not been flooded and their raised drinking water sources, such as tube-wells, are still safe. This is true for many prepared villagers in Bangladesh and India too.
"These floods show how important it is for governments and the international community to be prepared for when disasters strike,” said Dayal. “Today we are providing emergency aid for those who have lost everything. In the long term we must work with local authorities to help vulnerable people in the flood-prone areas of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal to cope with increasingly erratic and unpredictable weather."
Oxfam is currently responding to this and more than 30 other emergencies around the world. To make it possible for Oxfam to respond to emergencies and work to overcome poverty and suffering, you can make a donation to our Global Emergencies Fund.