South Asia Floods
This year's monsoon floods and landslides in Bangladesh, India and Nepal were the most severe in recent decades. At the peak of the floods, nearly 41 million people in the three countries were affected. Tens of thousands of houses, as well as schools and hospitals, were damaged or destroyed.
In Bangladesh, the floods affected an estimated 8 million people in 32 districts. The waters have receded, and families now face huge challenges rebuilding — over 101,000 houses were destroyed and 619,000 damaged.
In India, over 11,000 villages in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal states were submerged, forcing more than 1 million people to seek shelter in relief camps. Farmers are counting the massive costs of the flooding in their lives, as over 3 million acres of crops were destroyed.
The worse rains Nepal experienced in 15 years caused floods in 35 districts. The Nepal Red Cross estimated that 1.7 million people were affected, 20,880 families temporarily displaced and 43,400 houses destroyed. The majority of people displaced have returned to their communities, where they must contend with exposure to water-borne diseases, repairs to houses and regaining their incomes.
About Our Response
Save the Children has worked across South Asia for decades and has trained staff and capacity to respond when children's and families' survival and well-being are jeopardized by disasters. Our teams are now working in all three countries. Their main activities are focused on water, sanitation and hygiene; shelter; food and non-food distributions; education in emergencies; and protecting vulnerable children from harm.
We launched relief in the districts of Kurigram and Sirajganj, where we have been distributing hygiene kits and providing over 1,000 families with cash grants that they can use to meet their shelter, food and livelihood needs. We have also started work to repair water points and latrines. We have identified a need to play a lead role in restoring access to education, as few other responders are focusing on helping speed children's return to school. Families' food security and ability to regain incomes are also among our early recovery priorities, as are addressing water and sanitation and hygiene needs.
We deployed relief in the Assam, Bihar and West Bengal states, reaching 18,400 children and adults to date. Highlights of this work include distributions of large numbers of hygiene and household kits. Over 400 children have attended activities at our child-friendly spaces, which provide structured, normalizing activities that protect children from harm and promote their well-being. Additional support enable us to scale up distributions of food and key supplies to 10,000 vulnerable households over the coming year. Contingent on funding, we will also see that families receive livelihoods support to regain incomes and that children are back to school quickly continuing their education. We would also seek to help repair water and sanitary facilities.
We have provided support to 30,275 children and adults to date, with a priority on distributing food, shelter supplies, hygiene supplies, water purification tablets and packets of oral re-hydration solution — used to treat children suffering from debilitating diarrhea. We have also deployed medical teams in seven areas that have to date treated over 2,200 children and adults. We have developed a recovery strategy that would address children's quick return to school by assisting with repairs and renovations at damaged schools and providing children with new school supplies; and constructing more permanent shelters for families.