BANGKOK – Global child rights organization 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 in the South Asian countries.
Working in close coordination with community partners, in-country humanitarian agencies, and government authorities in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, Plan International is on the ground and responding to the needs of those most affected by the floods and landslides, which have to date have claimed the lives of nearly 250 people and displaced millions across the region.
“Working across all three 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, Plan International in Asia.
“Our years of experience in Asia has 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 three days, Plan International installed three water treatment plants in Kurigram district and distributed more than 5,000 liters of clean drinking water.
- In India, floods have ravaged the states 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 and agricultural lands and caused damage to neighboring schools.
In Assam, Plan International is prioritizing 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 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.
Seven of the 23 districts affected are Plan International’s sponsorship areas. 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.
“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.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos for use available here (credit Plan International): https://mediabank.plan-international.org/?c=34981&k=511bb6a3e4
Staff in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are available for interviews.
About Plan International USA
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan believes in the power and potential of every child. Working together with children, young people, supporters, and partners, Plan strives for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.