Israeli humanitarian NGO IsraAID announced today that it is sending an emergency response team to the southern Indian state of Kerala, which has been hit by the worst flooding in living memory.
More than 350 people have been killed since the monsoon began at the end of May, and at least 220 have died since the August 8, when the rains grew heavier.
About 725,000 people have fled their homes to emergency relief camps, and thousands have been left stranded in areas rendered inaccessible by the floodwaters. The monsoon rains have been significantly heavier than usual and have covered the region.
The emergency team traveling to Kerala this week consists of international and Nepali staff from IsraAID’s office in Nepal, who will distribute urgent relief items and assess the longer-term psychosocial and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) needs of the affected communities. Members of this same team responded to heavy flooding in the Terai region of southern Nepal last year.
“According to the Indian authorities, Kerala is facing its worst flooding in a century. In the face of this devastation, IsraAID will be partnering with local communities and NGOs to help meet the affected population’s pressing needs,” said Yotam Polizer and Navonel Glick, IsraAID’s co-CEOs.
“Based on IsraAID’s experience, both internationally and in the region, we will focus initially on urgent relief distributions to evacuated communities, while our team assesses next steps in accompanying the affected population on the path to recovery.”
As of 2018, IsraAID has responded to crises in 47 countries, and has programs in 17 countries.