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European Commission - Press release

Indian monsoon floods: Commission responds to desperate needs

Brussels, 13 October 2011 - The European Commission will provide emergency funding of €3 million for the victims of the ongoing monsoon floods in India. The disaster has displaced between 200,000 and 300,000 people who are in urgent need of humanitarian relief. The floods have affected 4 million people in Eastern India.

Kristalina Georgieva, the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "Once again, the yearly rains are hurting the most vulnerable, depriving them of bare necessities like food and shelter. The floods are threatening the lives of tens of thousands of already weakened and susceptible people in India. Homes, crops and livelihoods have been lost and needs exceed the government's response capacity. This is why, Europe is extending a lifeline of emergency assistance in the current crisis. Moreover we are providing funding which will boost the resilience of the population against future flooding".

The areas most affected by the floods are Orissa, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. Experts from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Directorate General (ECHO) are in the field to monitor how needs evolve. The funding will provide food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation, and basic household items. Particular attention will be paid to highly vulnerable groups such as low caste and tribal communities, religious minorities, single-parent families, the disabled, children and the sick and elderly. The aid will be channelled through the Commission's humanitarian partners in the field

The Commission will also fund disaster preparedness in high-risk areas, with the goal of raising the population's awareness of floods risk and response and to train volunteers, the authorities and community-based organisations in order to mitigate the risks of future flooding.

Background

In 2011, in addition to humanitarian support to the victims of violence in Kashmir (€ 2,000,000) and Chhattisgarh (€ 1,600,000), the European Commission has provided funding for the following crises in India: Floods in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand (€ 600,000) and ethnic strife in Assam (€ 200,000). Additionally, € 1.1 million was allocated for disaster prevention and disaster risk reduction in India.

For more information

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)


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