Bonn/Berlin, 2020-05-22 After Cyclone Amphan left a swathe of destruction across the Indian state of West Bengal, Welthungerhilfe is providing 100,000 euros of immediate assistance for the people worst affected in the Sundarban region. In this rural coastal region, many houses were razed to the ground, levees broke, and the fields have been flooded with seawater. The next harvest has been almost entirely destroyed.
“It is a disaster that people have lost their homes and their livelihoods due to the cyclone. In times of Covid-19, the situation is even more dramatic: Many day labourers, who in any case live hand to mouth, and who have lost their jobs and incomes due to the Coronavirus pandemic, returned from the cities to their home villages. There they are now experiencing a double disaster of a cyclone and Covid-19,” says Nivedita Varshneya, Welthungerhilfe Country Director in India.
Together with partner organisations, Welthungerhilfe is preparing swift emergency assistance measures for 10,000 families. Around 60,000 people are being provided with food, drinking water, and hygiene sets. Although many houses were destroyed by the cyclone, people are staying there, for fear of catching Coronavirus. For this reason, protective canvases and tents are also being provided.
Nivedita Varshneya, Welthungerhilfe Country Director in India (English-speaking), and Philippe Dresruesse, Welthungerhilfe Programme Advisor in India (German-speaking), are available for interview requests.
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany; politically independent and non-denominational. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since it was founded in 1962, more than 9,300 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.71 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on the principle of help for self-help: from fast disaster relief to reconstruction and long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organisations.