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Save the Children responds to flooding in Bihar

Save the Children responds to flooding in Bihar, India

Save the Children New Zealand has announced that it is sending an initial NZ$20,000 to support the hundreds of thousands of children who have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the devastating floods in India's northern Bihar region. It is also accepting donations from the public towards its international appeal of NZ$3 million.

Over half a million children have been already affected by floods which are being termed as the Indian "Katrina". Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has declared a national emergency.

Without rapid intervention the worst is yet to come for these and many more children as the water reaches the adjoining districts.

These are the worst floods that the affected districts have seen in the last 52 years. Almost 1.5 million people in our 1000 villages across 13 districts in Bihar are currently living on embankments and roads. 225,192 houses have been damaged and 57,411 people evacuated.

"In our assessment, the need is enormous," said Thomas Chandy, CEO for Save the Children in India. "We already have the systems in place to quickly source and deliver urgently needed relief supplies to children and their families. We are appealing to all concerned…to help us go out and do it."

Save the Children will be providing 10,000 families including 30,000 children with food aid, shelter, medical assistance, water purification and child protection.

"Two of the affected districts, Arraria and Katiyar, according to our early assessment also have the highest incidence of child trafficking. The current disaster will increase levels of poverty and desperation and create a favourable environment for traffickers," said Mr Chandy. "Save the Children will be working towards creating 'safe spaces' for children in the affected districts as we did last year in the flood affected areas of Bihar and Orissa".

Many districts, which lie in the exit path of the flood waters, will be affected by the flooding in the next few weeks, hence, the urgent need for action.

How you can help
• Call our Save the Children Donation Line: 0800 167 168
• Donate Online

Notes to Editors
• Save the Children fights for children's rights. We deliver immediate and lasting improvements to children's lives in India. Save the Children has existed in India since pre-independence days and is currently working in eleven states and union territories of India.
• Save the Children New Zealand has been working in India for over twenty years working to improve education and children's rights in local communities.

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