Global child rights organisation 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 Bangladesh, India 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, 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 Ge-bregziabher, Regional Director, Plan International in Asia.
“Our years of experience in Asia have also shown us that children 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 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 re-main inundated.
Reaching more than 3,500 affected individuals in the last three days, Plan Interna-tional installed three water treatment plants in Kurigram district and distributing more than 5,000 liters of clean drinking water.
In India, floods have ravaged the state of Assam and Bihar and authorities are expecting the situation worsen as all rivers are flowing above the danger mark. Flooding has submerged thousands of homes, agricultural lands and caused damage to neighboring schools.
In Assam, Plan International is prioritizing the distribution of safe drinking water, sup-plementary nutrition, hygiene, education and child protection support for thousands of families. As water levels remain high, access to communities remains an issue in Bihar, as well as inconsistent and failed telecommunication lines. Plan International is working with local partners to determine immediate needs of affected families.
In Nepal, monsoon rains in the southern plains of Nepal, 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 thou-sands 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 of children, particularly girls and those most vulnerable, will remain at risk if they remain 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 summer season, and any additional rain will be catastrophic for children and their families already living in dire conditions,” says Gebregziabher.