IFRC warns of food shortages and disease outbreaks in flood-hit countries
July 17, 2019 11:30 AM NPT
By: Ajit Rai
KATHMANDU, July 17: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has expressed concern over the havoc wreaked by the monsoon-triggered floods and landslides that hit different parts of South Asia.
It has warned that monsoon-triggered floods are likely to pose a major threat to nearly 6 million South Asian people. It has also warned of potential food shortages and disease outbreaks in the flood-hit South Asian countries.
“Nearly 6 million people across South Asia are under threat from rising floodwaters following heavy monsoon rains, with more than one million displaced in one Indian state alone,” reads the press statement.
Issuing a press release on Tuesday, it has also expressed its willingness “to coordinate international assistance if and when it is needed”.
According to the press release, the floodwaters that accumulated after the Brahmaputra River overflowed its banks displaced over a million people in Assam state, India.
The press release also states that the worst-hit south-eastern parts of Nepal inundated by floodwaters are inaccessible to Red Cross response teams.
In Bangladesh, as many as 14,000 people were displaced and at least 11,000 homes destroyed by the floodwaters that submerged one-third of the country, according to the press statement.
IFRC and its Red Cross and Red Crescent counterparts in the worst-hit South Asian countries- Nepal, Indian and Bangladesh have focused on ‘preparedness’ to reduce possible damage in the areas likely to be hit by floodwaters in the days to come.
“We know that preparedness saves lives. 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,” the press statement quotes Xavier Castellanos, Regional Director for Asia Pacific,IFRC as saying.
More than 1000 volunteers associated with Nepal Red Cross, Indian Red Cross and Bangladesh Red Crescent have been getting engaged in rescue and reliefs efforts in coordination with local authorizes, the press release states.