NEW DELHI, 24 June 2008: The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and UNICEF have joined hands to support the recovery and empowerment of some of the most vulnerable communities hit by the devastating floods in the eastern state of Bihar in 2007. Following on from a number of previous, generous donations to these efforts, ECHO has made a donation of $700,000 (520,000 Euros) in support of the Early Recovery Programme for Flood Mitigation in Bihar.
Twenty thousand families (around 120,000 individuals) benefit directly from this project. These are families living in the most vulnerable and socially excluded communities affected by the floods of 2007. The project covers selected areas of the northern districts of Bihar that are particularly prone to disaster: East Champaran, Darbhanga and Madhubani.
The Bihar monsoonal floods of 2007 were widely considered to be among the very worst in the state in recorded history, affecting almost 25 million people. As is generally the case, these floods hit the poorest and the weakest communities the hardest and among these, the most vulnerable are the children.
The primary goals of the UNICEF project funded by ECHO are to ensure the earliest possible recovery of these most vulnerable communities as well as to strengthen their capacity to deal with future disasters.
In order to achieve these primary goals, UNICEF aims to achieve the four more specific results:
• To reduce in malnourishment among children (food and nutrition)
• To contain water-borne diseases in the flood affected region, with women and children provided with appropriate sanitation facilities and materials (water and sanitation)
• To control the spreading of both water- and vector-borne diseases through an effective surveillance system and case management (health)
• To strengthen community resilience by building the capacity of communities and local administrations to deal with natural disasters, providing safe shelter and boats (resilience building)
In addition to those most vulnerable families benefiting directly from the project, by improving the capacity of the local institutions to implement flood mitigation efforts, the benefits will indirectly reach a far larger population.
This is ECHO’s fifth contribution to UNICEF disaster preparedness interventions in India since 2006 and is a continuation of our growing partnership. UNICEF warmly welcomes this very important contribution by ECHO, which further strengthens our efforts to empower some of the most vulnerable communities to rebuild their lives and to better deal with future disasters.
For further information, please contact:
Alistair Gretarsson, Communication Officer, UNICEF New Delhi Tel: 011 2469-0401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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