Heavy, sustained rains across the northeastern states in India caused extensive damage and affected close to 400,000 people as the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries overflowed, causing widespread and devastating flooding.
The rains triggered by cyclone Mora began in late June and continued into July. Communities already living below the poverty line in Assam province - the most remote and least developed region in the country – were primarily affected. Residents don’t have the resources to withstand the devastation caused by the unprecedented flooding. More than 140,000 hectares of crop area have been ravaged by the floods, which will lead to big economic losses in the affected communities. People who lost their homes are living on the roadside and on embankments in fields with no access to shelter, safe sanitation or drinking water.
Humanitarian Coalition member Oxfam Canada received $350,000 from the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund to support more than 23,000 of those affected by this disaster. That will enable Oxfam to distribute hygiene kits, install emergency toilets and bathing cubicles, as well as repair and treat water sources. In addition, Oxfam will organize a gender-focused menstrual hygiene promotion camp for local adolescents and women to encourage safe practices.
Oxfam will also provide cash to 500 of the most vulnerable households, with 50 per cent given to those headed by women. Cash transfers will allow residents whose livelihoods were impacted to make their own choices based on their needs. This will help to infuse some much-needed currency into the local economy.
Oxfam has been a leading humanitarian and development agency in India since 1951. The organization has responded to all major disasters in the country - including flood and conflict response in Assam between 2012 and 2016. Oxfam has an ongoing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program in five districts of Assam province.
The Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund is a joint mechanism between the Humanitarian Coalition, its member agencies and Global Affairs Canada.