Flood

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20/03/2023 | Emergency

Malawi: Tropical Storm Freddy floods

Tropical Storm Freddy ripped through southern Malawi on 12 March, bringing 300-400mm of rainfall in the first 48 hours alone. The rains brought sudden, violent and destructive flash floods and landslides which have caused extensive damage to, and in some cases completely washed away, homes, schools, health centres, agricultural lands and infrastructure. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Malawi Red Cross to meet urgent shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene needs. Together, our aim is to help 160,000 affected people recover in a safe and dignified manner, and help them improve their resilience to future shocks.

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09/06/2023 | Article

Nova Kakhovka dam collapse, Ukraine: How we're supporting people affected by flooding

The collapse of the Nova Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine on June 6 has resulted in a devastating flood, impacting numerous communities. People have already suffered the devastating impacts of the conflict and are now displaced from their homes; many have lost their houses and belongings with the flood waters. The health risks for affected people could increase in the coming weeks and there is a need for clean drinking water. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) network is working alongside the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to provide vital assistance to people who have been affected. Addressing immediate humanitarian needs Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the IFRC, together with its membership, is actively supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross Society in their response efforts. This includes operational, technical, and financial assistance to bolster its local capacity to deliver aid, distribute relief items, provide health support, promote good sanitation and hygiene practices, and address the immediate needs of the affected population. Long-term recovery and rehabilitation In addition to immediate relief efforts, the IFRC network remains committed to supporting communities affected by the flooding in their long-term recovery and rehabilitation. This includes facilitating projects to restore people’s livelihoods, provide psychosocial support, and rehabilitate damaged infrastructure to help communities rebuild their lives. In the aftermath of the Nova Kakhovka Dam collapse, the IFRC network and Ukrainian Red Cross Society stand united in providing unwavering support to affected communities. Since February 2022, the IFRC has scaled up its response with the Ukrainian Red Cross, together with National Societies from around the world. Together, we provide urgent humanitarian assistance to people in Ukraine and those who have been forced to flee to other countries. Together, we are working tirelessly to address immediate needs, offer hope, and pave the way for long-term recovery. With the power of compassion and solidarity, we are committed to rebuilding lives and restoring resilience in the face of this devastating event. -- Click here for more information about our work supporting people in Ukraine.

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21/03/2023 | Press release

Malawi: IFRC launches Emergency Appeal to respond to the effects of Tropical Storm Freddy in Malawi

Malawi, 21 March 2023 -After passing through Southern Africa for the second time this month, Tropical Storm Freddy swept through Southern Malawi on 12 March 2023, with strong winds and heavy rains leaving the affected districts in a state of disaster and affecting the power supply throughout most of the country. Tropical Storm Freddy is set to be the longest tropical system since 1994, having weakened and re-intensified seven times over the last month. The Malawi government has declared a state of disaster in 10 southern districts that have been hardest hit by the storm. A large number ofpeople are reported to have been affected, of which 101,648 households (approximately 508,244 people) have been displaced with 534 camps set to accommodate the displaced, according to reports from DoDMA. The death toll, which is currently at 499 (as of 20 March 2023), is expected to rise as 427 people are still unaccounted for since some areas remain cut off due to relentless rain and fierce wind. McBain Kanongodza, Secretary General for the Malawi Red Cross Society said: “We are grateful to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for the support through this emergency appeal. This support will go a long way to help the survivors recover from the shock of Tropical Cyclone Freddy devastation.” Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) is on the ground, with volunteers working in dangerous conditions, primarily conducting search and rescue by land, and in rescue boats. Volunteers are providing first aid and psychosocial support to those affected. Non-food items are also being distributed by MRCS to evacuation centres and hospitals. John Roche, Head of IFRC’s Delegation for Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe said: “The destruction left behind by Tropical Storm Freddy, which has displaced large numbers is a major concern, as we are also tackling a widespread cholera outbreak at the same time. We need to respond fast and ensure people have access to clean and safe drinking water to ensure that cholera does not spread beyond control.” The lack of sanitation and clean water sources, which increases the risk of contracting cholera, will be amplified after many homes have been washed away leaving displaced communities to be housed in camps. The number of people living in camps, may cause them to become hotspots for Cholera and waterborne diseases. In addition to risks of cholera, the floods have caused many communities to be cut off from food for many days, as well as causing widespread damage to farms, and death of livestock. Many of these areas were already suffering from significant food insecurity. The IFRC and its membership has launched an Emergency Appeal seeking 6.0 million Swiss Francs, which will help the MRCS to assist up to 160,000 people over 5 districts, who have been affected by the severe impacts of Tropical Storm Freddy. Through the appeal, MRCS, and its partners with the IFRC will look to scale up their response to the impact of Tropical Storm Freddy. The response will focus on the immediate needs of families displaced and hosted in camps. For more information or to arrange a media interview, contact: In Malawi (IFRC): Ella Mcsharry, +263 78 689 3350, Felix Washon, +265 999 95 57 21, [email protected] In Pretoria (IFRC): Robyn Lee Doyle, +27605031833, [email protected] In Nairobi (IFRC): Rita Nyaga, +2541 10 837154, [email protected] In Geneva (IFRC): Tommaso Della Longa, +41-79-708 4367, [email protected]

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28/02/2023 | Press release

Six months on: Pakistan’s receding floodwaters reveal the need for prolonged support

Islamabad/Sindh, 28 February 2023 – The need for longer-term economic support for people who lost their homes, livelihoods, and livestock across Pakistan due to the catastrophic floods six months ago becomes pressing amid global and local economic turndown, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warns. In order to address the flood’s impact, the IFRC and Pakistan Red Crescent Society have launched cash and voucher assistance to meet the urgent needs of the people most at-risk, delivering more than CHF 420,000 to 5,600 families so far. This cash assistance will enable families to meet their immediate needs, such as food, livelihood, and other essential needs. “We understand that needs are still immense in the aftermath of the severe floods, and they will remain like this for a while as the damage is massive. We are supporting communities with cash, but it’s important to acknowledge that this aid is a short-term bridge for urgent needs. Escalating inflation and a stagnant economy don’t allow the cash to stretch as far as people need,” Peter (Piwi) Ophoff, head of the IFRC delegation in Pakistan, said. “Longer term cash support to people impacted by these devastating floods will stimulate local markets, which can help economic recovery,” Ophoff added. From June to August last year, extreme monsoon rainfall submerged one-third of Pakistan, affecting 33 million people across the country. The monsoon floods ravaged a staggering 2.2 million houses leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Families were forced to take refuge on roadsides in makeshift shelters when the country’s main Indus River burst its banks across thousands of square kilometres. The IFRC's emergency appeal has reached almost 1.3 million people with relief items, shelter, health, water, sanitation, hygiene kits, and multipurpose cash assistance over the past six months. Pakistan Red Crescent Society has the capacity and knowledge to assist disaster-affected populations through cash and voucher assistance, a dignified, reliable and efficient ways using a swift disbursement mechanism. Pakistan Red Crescent Society chairman, Sardar Shahid Ahmed Laghari remarked: "There are still millions of people on the ground who are looking for help, and we need support from national as well as international communities to help as many lives as possible so that they can meet their urgent needs and resume their livelihoods in a way that maintains dignity, freedom, choice and respect," Laghari said. IFRC’s multipurpose cash transfer program aims to help the affected people to rebuild their lives. But the skyrocketing inflation rates only add to the already volatile situation. To survive through this, continued support is required for the emergency appeal launched in September, as it is still underfunded even after six months. The devastating floods that heavily damaged residential properties, infrastructure, and other assets, led over a million livestock to perish and left large swathes of agricultural land uncultivable, resulting in the exponential loss of income and livelihoods for millions of people. The damage created due to floods exacerbated by climate change pushed already economically disadvantaged communities further towards poverty, making the available aid fall short of meeting the increasing needs of people amid an economic recession. Responding to the acute needs of people affected by the 2022 floods within the first six months, the IFRC emergency operation is now shifting its focus to meeting the longer-term recovery needs of affected communities. To achieve this, the main priorities include reinforcing access to safe water and sanitation facilities, rehabilitating basic health units, and launching livelihoods and multipurpose cash assistance programs. Cash assistance is one critical approach that helps responders better put the needs and capacities of affected people at the heart of humanitarian action. It enables communities to decide how to cover essential needs like rent, transport, bills, food, and medicine. For more information, please contact: [email protected] In Islamabad: Irem Karakaya, +92 308 555 0065 Sher Zaman, +92 304 103 0469 In Kuala Lumpur: Afhrill Rances, +60 19 271 3641 In Geneva: Jenelle Eli, +1 202 603 6803

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13/12/2022 | Article

Pakistan floods: Six months on, humanitarian needs remain dire

It’s been almost six months since flash floods battered parts of Pakistan, and hundreds of thousands of people are still reeling from the floods’ effects. Homes, livelihoods, and farmlands were destroyed and many parts of the country remain underwater. An estimated 33 million people have been affected, of which 20 million are still living in dire conditions. And now that the country has entered winter, many affected communities face a daunting new challenge of how to survive without housing, food, clean water, and fuel sources for warmth. The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS), with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has been providing lifesaving relief to flood-affected families, especially those in far-flung areas, reaching nearly 600,000 people so far. The PRCS swung into action when the floods struck, delivering cooked food and food parcels to address hunger, which killed some due to starvation. Their volunteers also quickly distributed essential items such as collapsible jerry cans for storing clean water, kitchen sets and hygiene kits. Shelter continues to be a top priority in our response. Many people were forced to leave their flooded homes and retreat to the nearest evacuation centre. Some resorted to sleeping on the roadside – unprotected and with barely any resources to build a roof over their heads. PRCS, with the support of IFRC and our partners, has been distributing tents, shelter tool kits, tarpaulins, blankets and mosquito nets in different affected regions to cater to people’s immediate shelter needs. In the areas where floods are receding, health and hygiene concerns including cholera, dengue, and malaria, pose severe threats to people's well-being. Many areas also have been reporting cases of scabies, especially in children as they play in the floodwaters. Before the floods, poor sanitation and bad hygiene were already a concern in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh provinces. The floods and waterlogging have only worsened the overall health situation. In response, the IFRC has helped the PRCS to strengthen its health and hygiene services. For instance, volunteers are now running mobile health units in the most affected areas to provide urgent medical attention, especially for women and children. “The mobile health units have been extremely beneficial for me and this community,” says Jamila, a mother of four from Sindh province who’s expecting her fifth child. Both adults and children in the village where Jamila lives, Dayee Ji Wandh, have been receiving medical assistance and medication for their issues. It’s been easy for Jamila and other pregnant women to reach out and get advice for common health issues, such as fever and diarrhea. Hear more from Jamila in this video: “Through the mobile health units, people have been bringing their sick children for treatment whenever necessary,” said Sabira Solangi, a Pakistan Red Crescent volunteer from the same area. Contaminated water is another big issue, especially in Sindh where the quality of water in the entire region is exceptionally poor. The few handpumps that existed to offer clean water were severely damaged during the floods. The IFRC’s water, sanitation, and hygiene team have been working around the clock to provide clean drinking water. They also carried out extensive assessments to map out the right places to install new handpumps and dig boreholes. The IFRC also supported the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to install mobile water treatment plants and latrines in different districts to aid those in need of clean water. “We really appreciate what the Red Crescent has set up here, especially with the drinking water. It’s a basic need for all, and it was such a great relief when the treatment plants were installed,” says Maula Bakhsh Khakrani, a 20-year-old man from Jacobabad in Sindh province. Speaking about the ongoing situation in the country, Pakistan Red Crescent Society Chairman, Shahid Ahmed Laghari, said: “massive needs require massive support. Pakistan Red Crescent Society requests all potential donors to support early recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction efforts for the flood-affected population.” -- Click here to learn more about the IFRC’s Emergency Appeal for the floods in Pakistan. And click here to donate to our ongoing response.

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27/10/2022 | Press release

Millions of people in Asia living in stagnant water at risk of facing deadly diseases

Kuala Lumpur, 27 October 2022 – After unprecedented floods continue to hit many parts of Asia, dangerous un-subsiding flood waters are now the crisis, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warns. Men, women, and children are being forced to live out their day-to-day lives in dirty, stagnated water, and are at risk of deadly diseases such as malaria, dengue, cholera, and diarrhoea, not to mention long-term harmful effects to their bodies. This year's monsoon season in the region saw more than 42 million people being severely hit by floods, landslides, and torrential rains since August. Moreover, this number only includes records from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Lao, and Cambodia. Erratic and early rains triggered often unprecedented floods, damaging homes, livestock, infrastructure and more. Many weeks later, the flood waters have not receded. Joy Singhal, IFRC’s Regional Head, Health, Disasters, Climate and Crisis, said: “Stagnation of water, muck and mud following floods is a thriving breeding ground for mosquitoes, bacteria, and other harmful organisms. If left unattended to, this will trigger surges in infectious diseases. “Prolonged water stagnation also causes lasting damage to water supplies and infrastructure, threatening the health of communities long into the future.” Flood waters bring in substantial amounts of dirt and garbage into homes, schools, and infrastructure. Even if some volume of the water dissipates, torrential rain continues, and the waters rise again. Many people have resorted to staying longer in shelters than usual. Emergency shelters have had to be relocated numerous times due to rising waters. Some areas, especially in South Asia, reported that the water took almost two months to subside, while most took weeks. This also poses the threat of being infected with COVID-19, as evacuation sites are often crowded and without proper ventilation. Alexander Matheou, IFRC’s Asia Pacific Regional Director, said: “Our teams across the region are reporting grave concerns for communities now facing the often-unseen crisis that follows in the wake of such devastating floods. "Across the length and breadth of Asia, our health and relief teams are reporting severe repercussions of stagnating waters. People have nowhere to go and are forced to live in dangerous conditions. “These unmoving waters pose a huge hindrance to communities relocating back to their homes, and therefore prolongs displacement. Not to mention devastating impacts to livestock, agriculture, shelter repairs and further increasing economic hardships, eventually preventing them from heading back to lead normal lives.” The IFRC have launched emergency appeals multiple times this year to support Red Cross Red Crescent activities across the region for the humanitarian issues arising from the floods, with a focus on immediate needs like providing shelters, relief and medical care. To arrange an interview, get access to audio-visuals, or for more information, contact: In Kuala Lumpur: Afrhill Rances, +60 19 271 3641, [email protected] Rachel Punitha, +60 19 791 3830, [email protected]

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27/10/2022 | Emergency

Chad: Floods

Unprecedented torrential rains in Chad since early August 2022 have caused significant damage to houses, key infrastructure and agricultural land in the capital, N'Djamena, and surrounding provinces. Nearly 750,000 people have been affected by the floods, and communities are at a high risk of water-borne diseases, particularly cholera, due to a lack of appropriate hygiene and sanitation in areas of displacement. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Chad Red Cross to provide shelter, livelihoods, health, water, sanitation, hygiene and protection services to affected people.

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25/10/2022 | Emergency

Nigeria: Floods

Nigeria is experiencing the worst flooding in at least a decade. The floods have damaged homes, infrastructure and large areas of farmland across the country. More than 600 people have died and an estimated 2.8 million people have been affected, many of whom have been displaced from their communities.Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Nigeria Red Cross Society to reach 500,000 affected people with multi-purpose cash assistance, health services, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support, and emergency shelter assistance.

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29/08/2022 | Emergency

Pakistan: Monsoon floods

Pakistan is experiencing abnormal monsoon rainfall nearly three times higher than the past 30-year average, causing uncontrollable flash floods and landslides across the country—affecting more than 33 million people. More than 1,000 people have died due to the flooding since mid-June, including more than 300 children. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to scale up its immediate humanitarian assistance to people affected—and to support people in the longer term to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

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07/10/2022 | Press release

Water-borne diseases and food insecurity threaten Pakistan as Red Cross ramps up efforts

Islamabad / Kuala Lumpur, 7 October 2022 – As widespread flash floods in Pakistan continue to trigger waves of displacement, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Pakistan Red Crescent are scaling up their humanitarian assistance. In a revised emergency appeal, the IFRC is asking for CHF 55 million to assist three times more people than initially targeted. The increased ask was prompted by the worsening situation, where a surge of flood-borne diseases and food inaccessibility is on the rise. In the areas where floods are receding, health and hygiene concerns, such as cholera, dengue and malaria, pose severe threats to people’s wellbeing. Pakistan has experienced an unusual amount of rainfall, three times higher than the last three decades, which affected 33 million people, killing 1,700 others and displacing nearly 8 million from their homes. Hundreds of staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly since the onset of this disaster to assist those in need. A new study from the World Weather Attribution—a group of international scientists including those from the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre—found climate change likely intensified the rainfall that left huge swathes of Pakistan underwater and turned lives upside down. More than two months into the floods, the IFRC and Pakistan Red Crescent have reached around 270,000 people in the most affected areas—delivering critical life-saving assistance including tents, food, clean water and medical support. The revised appeal will strengthen the ongoing response, with a focus on food, water, medical care, and shelter assistance—all delivered by volunteers who are from the very communities they serve. The Chairman of Pakistan Red Crescent, Sardar Shahid Ahmed Laghari, who has been visiting affected areas with emergency response teams over the past weeks says: “The needs remain massive and keep on growing, and they are different for men, women, boys and girls. Our staff and volunteers are listening to and working with these different groups to raise awareness and deliver our interventions. It’s critical that families’ needs are met or these tragic floods will impact them in the long-term—just as people are suffering from the ongoing inflation and economic crisis." Through the strength of its staff and volunteers, the Pakistan Red Crescent has managed to access hard-to-reach communities in dire need of assistance. The IFRC, and its partners such as German Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and Turkish Red Crescent, have been collaborating with the government and humanitarian groups to cater to the most vulnerable people, with a special focus on displaced families, women, and children. Peter Ophoff, IFRC’s Head of Delegation in Pakistan, remarks: “This revised appeal will enable us to help the most vulnerable get back on their feet, especially those who live in the hard-to-reach areas. Before the lingering effects of this disaster turns into a catastrophe, the IFRC is acting now to scale up preventative public health interventions, including improving access to sanitation and increasing hygiene awareness around the emerging health crisis. Parallel interventions will also be made on shelter, livelihoods and cash assistance.” For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: In Kuala Lumpur: Afrhill Rances, +60 19 271 3641 [email protected] In Islamabad: Sher Zaman, +92 51 9250404-6, [email protected] In Geneva: Jenelle Eli, +1 202-603-6803, [email protected] AV materials for use by the media are available here:

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01/09/2022 | Press release

Urgent call for international aid as Pakistan battles floods

Kuala Lumpur/ Islamabad, 1 September 2022: Millions of people struggling in the face of devastating floods across Pakistan need urgent global support, the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said today. An excess of one million homes have been damaged or destroyed by the massive floods, leaving 3.1 million people displaced and in severe danger. Over half a million people are reported putting up in relief camps around the country. The worst flood in more than a decade has also swept away livestock and wiped out an estimated two million acres of food crops, with dire consequences for millions of people across the country. The Chairman of Pakistan Red Crescent, Abrar ul Haq, said: “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of so many lives, and the misery and hardship these floods have brought to people across Pakistan who are now trying to seek safety on what high ground they can find. “Everywhere we look, homes, farmland, and critical infrastructure has been submerged. We are doing all they can to take people to safety and provide critical relief, but much more assistance is needed.” In response to the flooding, and in anticipation of further impacts, the IFRC has launched an Emergency Appeal for 25 million Swiss Francs to fund relief and recovery efforts for an estimated 324,000 people. IFRC has already provided 481,000 Swiss francs to support local emergency efforts. Asia Pacific Regional Director of IFRC Alexander Matheou said: "I visited house after house drenched in mud and water. Everything inside was destroyed. Mosquitos were everywhere. Some have managed to get their loved ones and livestock to higher ground. Many were not so lucky. “Everyone we met said that most of all they need were food and water to survive, and then help to clean and repair their homes. “This abnormal monsoon rainfall, nearly three times higher than usual, is yet another example of the devastating impact of climate change on some of the world’s poorest communities.” The monsoon season, which runs from May to September, has hit the region particularly hard this year, with countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, India and Bangladesh also experiencing heavy rainfall and flooding. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: In Kuala Lumpur: Rachel Punitha, +60 19 791 3830, [email protected] In Islamabad: Sher Zaman, +92 51 9250404-6, [email protected] Geneva: Jenelle Eli, +1 202-603-6803, [email protected]

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27/08/2022 | Press release

Sea-like flood waters ravage Pakistan; affecting millions of people

Note: Since publishing this press release on 27 August, the IFRC has launched an emergency appeal for the Pakistan monsoon floods crisis. Find out more here. Kuala Lumpur/ Islamabad, 27 Aug 2022: More than a thousand dead including children, as ravaging floods displace millions of people while damaging more than one million homes in multiple districts across the country.* More than 33 million people are estimated to be affected, with more than 500,000 people living in relief camps around the country.** In addition, almost 710,000 livestock are lost, and thousands of kilometres of roads and bridges destroyed. The floods are causing an earthquake-like destruction. The Chairman of Pakistan Red Crescent, Abrar ul Haq said: “The situation is worsening by the day. These torrential floods have severely restricted transportation and mobility. The threat of COVID-19 and damage to vehicles, infrastructure and connectivity are further making our emergency relief works almost impossible. Most of those affected are also immobile or marooned making us hard to reach them. “Pakistan Red Crescent is currently providing relief assistance in 23 of the most affected districts. We have also started mobilizing help from International Committee of the Red Cross, partner National Societies and local and international donors to support in relief and recovery activities. We have also deployed more 500 staff and volunteers to flood-affected districts. “We fear the worst is yet to come as these kinds of waters could mean the risk of water-borne diseases are looming over the heads of our people." The current rain spell and floods has impacted the already thousands of vulnerable and deprived communities, where many are yet to recover from the effects of COVID-19. They are now in an even worse situation after these floods. Compounding effects from the pandemic are making it difficult for humanitarian organisations to immediately address and respond to the needs of those affected. The IFRC Head of Delegation in Pakistan, Peter Ophoff said: “The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is assisting the Pakistan Red Crescent in its response to the worst floods in a decade which have destroyed homes, crops, livelihoods and infrastructure and leaving millions vulnerable. “Pakistan is experiencing abnormal monsoon rainfall nearly ten times higher than usual, resulting in uncontrollable urban and flash floods, landslides, across the country. Gaining a full picture of the scale of the disaster is difficult as many affected areas remain inaccessible due to inundated and damaged road networks. “The devastation seen is giving frightening flashbacks of the devastating mega floods in 2010 which affected 20 million people." The South Asia region is facing unprecedented rainfall this monsoon season causing flash floods and landslides wreaking havoc in Bangladesh, India and Nepal as well. The Federation has released around 500,000 USD from its emergency funds to immediately assist close to 31,000 affected people. In country partner, Turkish Red Crescent, German Red Cross and Norwegian Red Cross are equally aiding in the response operation. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Kuala Lumpur:Rachel Punitha, +60 19 791 3830,[email protected] Islamabad:Sher Zaman, +92 51 9250404-6,[email protected] Geneva:Jenelle Eli,+1 202-603-6803,[email protected] *These figures were updated on 30 August. The sentence previously read "Almost a thousand dead including children, as ravaging floods displace over 3.1 million people while damaging more than half a million homes in multiple districts across the country." when this press release was published on 27 August. **These figures were added on 30 August.

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15/08/2022 | Press release

Afghanistan: Unending crises driving millions to breaking point

Kuala Lumpur/Kabul/Geneva 15 August – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is renewing its call for increased global solidarity with the people of Afghanistan who continue to face immense humanitarian need. Simultaneous crises in the country have caused some of the worst suffering in recent generations. A cocktail of disasters and crises has battered the country for more than a year now, with new shocks worsening conditions that were already dire. In late June, an earthquake struck south-East Afghanistan killing more than 1,000 people and destroying or damaging homes of 60,000 households leaving them exposed to the elements. Starting July into August, off-season rains brought floods that washed away livelihoods and aggravated humanitarian needs across more than 20 provinces. Mawlawi Mutiul Haq Khales, Afghan Red Crescent Acting President, said: "The past 12 months have been extremely difficult for our people as economic hardship, exacerbated by sanctions-related limitations to access income, piles pressure on millions who were already battling acute food insecurity, poverty, and many other shocks. "We, in Afghan Red Crescent, have scaled up our response operation in every province and our extensive network of volunteers continues to deliver assistance which is really a lifeline particularly to those excluded even from the most basic support, especially widows and their children. "Contributions from our local and international partners have been critical, and we are truly grateful. We are asking for continued support because millions of our people will rely on long term humanitarian interventions to meet their very basic needs." With the support of the IFRC and other partners, the Afghan Red Crescent response operation has so far reached more than 150,000 households with food assistance and at least 15,000 households with cash distributions. Its more than 140 health facilities, among them mobile health teams, also continue to provide primary health services including routine immunizations across Afghanistan. Humanitarian assistance needs to be sustained. Necephor Mghendi, IFRC's Head of Delegation for Afghanistan, said: "The people of Afghanistan cannot be forgotten. This is now one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with over 20 million people remaining in need of urgent assistance." "As the world's largest humanitarian network, we are responding in many ways to help aid vulnerable communities. IFRC continues to support the Afghan Red Crescent in its humanitarian efforts, but the succession of crises and disasters is driving millions to breaking point, resulting in a massive humanitarian need that is putting immense strain on the availability of resources. "Winter is coming, and we are worried that lives could be lost if we do not act early enough to alleviate conditions for people whose coping capacities are weakened by multiple shocks." The IFRC and Afghan Red Crescent are ramping up preparedness for a potentially harsh winter, which will be upon the country in a few months. The greatest concern is high-altitude areas where temperatures are very likely to drop below minus-10 degrees. Procurement of winter clothing, winter boots, thermal blankets, heating stoves and other essentials is underway in readiness. To support the Afghan Red Crescent, the IFRC has appealed to the international community for 90 million Swiss francs to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to more than 1 million people affected by multiple crises. Winter preparedness forms a critical part of the plan. To arrange an interview, get access to audio-visuals, or for more information, contact: Asia Pacific Office: Rachel Punitha, +60-197-913-830, [email protected] Asia Pacific Office: Joe Cropp, +61 491 743 089, [email protected]

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17/08/2022 | Press release

In Yemen, response to deadly floods and critical health care services are key

Beirut / Sanaa /17 August -More than a month after heavy thunderstorms wreaked havoc in Yemen, their effects are still being felt. More than 31,000 households experienced the loss of life or property—in a country where food insecurity was already at an all-time high. To best understand the needs and work being done, the Head of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s (IFRC) Delegation in Yemen, Sami Fakhouri paid a 4-day visit to Yemen Red Crescent’s (YRCS) branches and health centres in Hajjah and Saadah. Fakhouri saluted the outstanding job done by YRCS volunteers and staff—their dedication and hard work despite challenges. Tireless team members are working around the clock to provide primary, secondary, inpatient, and outpatient care entirely free of charge at 23 Yemen Red Crescent health centres throughout Yemen in addition to acute flood response. During the visit earlier last week, Fakhouri was briefed on the urgent needs and the ways in which Red Crescent teams are alleviating the suffering of local communities. He said: “IFRC will continue to support the Yemen Red Crescent in health, disaster management, water, sanitation, and hygiene and National Society Development, by providing technical and financial support.” On July 30, IFRC released more than CHF 452.000 from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Yemen Red Crescent’s response, which includes providing families impacted by the floods with food, hygiene, and household items, shelter kits, and water and sanitation services. In turn, Abdullah Al Azab, YRCS Disaster Management Coordinator said: “We need to be ready to support the population rendered more vulnerable by these natural catastrophes, in addition to the difficulties they are already experiencing in a country in war, and despite massive challenges, the Yemen Red Crescent tries to provide a fast life-saving response to victims of natural disasters in all governorates". Fakhouri concluded that IFRC in collaboration with The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and partner National Societies will continue to advocate with local and international authorities to remind stakeholders of the immense humanitarian needs of the Yemeni populations, not to forget supporting Yemen and its people, and to enhance the coordinated InternationalRed Cross and Red Crescent Movement response in the country. For more information, contact: In Beirut, IFRC-MENA: Mey Al Sayegh, +961 03229352, [email protected] In Yemen -YRCS: Nesreen Ahmed, +967 775322644, [email protected]

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28/06/2022 | Emergency

Bangladesh: Floods

Torrential rain and incessant downpours from upstream regions since mid-June 2022 have caused the worst flooding in living memory in north-eastern districts of Bangladesh.An estimated 7.2 million people have been affected, with a further 3.7 million people affected by monsoon flooding in northern districts. There is widespread damage to infrastructure, homes, water and sanitation facilities, croplands and fisheries. Through this Emergency Appeal, the IFRC is supporting the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to provide affected people with safe water and sanitation facilities, shelter, cash assistance and health services.

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28/06/2022 | Press release

Millions in Bangladesh impacted by one of the worst floodings ever seen

Kuala Lumpur/Dhaka, 28 June 2022 -Record-breaking floods in Bangladesh have wreaked havoc as an estimated 7.2 million people have been affected and are in desperate need of shelter and emergency relief items in the north-eastern region of the country. From early in the month of June, torrential rain and upstream water have completely submerged around 94 per cent of the town of Sunamganj and 84 per cent of Sylhet districts, in northeastern Bangladesh, bordering the Meghalaya state of India. Parts of Meghalaya have experienced the highest amount of rainfall in decades, which has led to overflowing of large river systems running between India and Bangladesh and completely swallowing surrounding areas. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Secretary General Kazi Shofiqul Azam said: “We have never seen this sort of flooding in our living memories in that region. Hundreds of thousands of people took refuge as their houses went under water and almost all their neighborhoods inundated. Large parts of Sunamganj and Sylhet were completely cut off due to severe disruption of road communication and power cuts. “Our volunteer teams were on the ground helping people with much needed dry foods, cooked food, safe drinking water. Bangladesh Red Crescent has launched a strategy involving USD 10 million to carry out relief and recovery operations in the affected areas.” While Sylhet and Sunamganj have almost been cut off from other parts of the country, multiple districts nearby including Netrokona, Kishoreganj are also experiencing floods. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society teams are also providing food package to last at least two weeks, heath care services through mobile medical teams, hygiene and dignity kits and tarpaulins and jerrycans. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) haslaunched an emergency appeal for CHF 7.5 million (USD 7.8 million) to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent to scale up and expand reach of its localized response and recovery efforts to prevent and alleviate the suffering of 300,000 people affected by the recent floods. IFRC Head of Bangladesh Country Delegation Sanjeev Kafley said: “Within just a month, Sylhet and Sunamganj have been flooded and the scale of devastation this time is so much more than the previous ones. We are scaling up our operations alongside Bangladesh Red Crescent due the urgency of the situation. The greater focus is on the urgent needs of the affected population for first three months by expanding and scaling up the response of Bangladesh Red Crescent. After that, recovery assistance will also be provided ensuring that the affected population will self-recover from the crisis in a sustainable way and strengthen their resilience to impending disasters.” For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: In Dhaka: Mahmudul Hasan, +880 1716 103333, [email protected] Raqibul Alam, +880 1714069707, [email protected] In Kuala Lumpur: Rachel Punitha, +60 3 9207 5700, [email protected]

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25/04/2022 | Emergency

South Africa: Floods and landslides

Deadly floods and landslides have devastated South Africa following three days of pounding rain in April 2022, prompting the country to declare a National State of Disaster. More than 100,000 people have been affected, thousands of homes have been destroyed and hundreds of people have tragically lost their lives. The worst affected areas are in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces. Through this emergency appeal, the IFRC is supporting the South African Red Cross Society to provide relief activities to 30,000 of the most affected people to meet their immediate needs and help them recover.

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26/04/2022 | Press release

KwaZulu-Natal floods: Red Cross steps up response amid mounting humanitarian needs

Pretoria/Nairobi/Geneva, 26 April 2022—The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched an 8 million Swiss franc emergency appeal to support the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) to expand the scope of their assistance as humanitarian needs continue to outpace available resources. eThekwini municipality in the east coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) was pummelled by rains on the weekend of 10 April. The meteorological department has stated that this is one of the heaviest floods recorded in a day in 60 years and has left a trail of destruction on human life, private property and infrastructure. The devastating floods have claimed over 400 lives so far. Over 50 people are unaccounted for, as search and rescue efforts continue. Damage to property and infrastructure is estimated to amount to billions of rands. Once the water subsided, thousands have been left without livelihoods and homes. Ruth van Rooyen, Senior Disaster Management Officer, IFRC Country Cluster Delegation for Southern Africa said: “The communities affected by the floods were already vulnerable due to the recent civil unrest and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had left many households without a source of income. Just as they were trying to rebuild, another disaster hit. Humanitarian aid is stretched, and partnerships are greatly needed as we support communities in their rebuilding process. This appeal aims to help communities build back better and regain the hope lost as they watched their lives washed away by the torrents of water.” According to national authorities, 123,808 people were affected, 448 people have died and over 30,000 are displaced, mostly in collective evacuation centers. Several dozens of people remain missing and unaccounted for. Rescue teams, including South Africa Red Cross Society volunteers, have been mobilized to the affected areas to search for the missing and bring others to safety. In the immediate aftermath of the floods, the IFRC released 330,000 Swiss francs (R5 351 866) from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to help SARCS rapidly respond and provide immediate assistance to more than 7,500 people (over 1,500 households). To respond to the greater needs, the emergency appeal will allow SARCS to support a total of 30,000 people (6,000 households) with various relief activities in evacuation centres to enable early recovery in affected communities. Families with severely damaged homes and those who are economically vulnerable having lost their livelihoods and lacking alternative coping mechanisms to meet their basic needs will be the main targeted groups. Particular attention will be given to homeless women and children. SARCS staff and volunteers have been mobilized and continue to respond to communities after floods hit. They have provided hot meals, psychosocial support, and the protection of family links to affected individuals. Red Cross teams have also distributed mattresses and provided first aid to displacement centres. Resources Some initial images from the field can be accessed on this link: https://shared.ifrc.org/c/1586 For more information, or to request an interview please contact: In Pretoria: Robyn Lee Doyle, [email protected] In Nairobi: Susan Mbalu, [email protected] In Geneva: Anna Tuson, [email protected]

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17/02/2022 | Press release

Climate Change: Red Cross calls for more investments in local action as European and African leaders meet in Brussels

Nairobi, Kenya. 17 February 2022 – As parts of Southern Africa are reeling from the impacts of tropical storms and cyclones and other parts of the continent are facing severe droughts, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling for urgent investment in local action to combat the effects of climate change. The call comes ahead of the 6th European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit which gets underway today in Brussels, Belgium. Recently, tropical storm Ana in Mozambique, Malawi, and Madagascar, and cyclone Batsirai in Madagascar again, left hundreds of thousands of people displaced, homes destroyed, and infrastructure worth billions of dollars damaged. At the same time, humanitarian organizations in Africa warned this week of a catastrophic hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia) where more than 20 million people are feared to face starvation because of prolonged drought. The Sahel and West Africa, particularly Nigeria, also face a deteriorating food security situation. Mohammed Mukhier, the Regional Director for IFRC Africa said: “What we are witnessing is a manifestation of the impact of climate change on the continent. We need to strengthen investments in local preventative measures that build people’s ability to cope with these intensifying disasters.” Countries in Africa are only responsible for four per cent of global carbon emissions, and at the same time disproportionately affected by the widespread consequences of climate change and accelerated environmental degradation. Yet, climate financing pledged by world leaders is slow to reach the people on the ground who are most exposed to climate risks. Ahead of the Summit, the IFRC calls for renewed efforts to build and implement a new Africa-EU Partnership that would answer to the needs of the most vulnerable people exposed to the impacts of climate change and the environmental crisis, strengthen food and health security and address forced migration. In the longer term, the role of local actors should be strengthened to support communities in building resilience and addressing humanitarian and development challenges on the continent. Communities in Africa and elsewhere are also increasingly impacted by multiple hazards in addition to the changing climate, which are compounding their vulnerabilities and affecting their capacity to cope. “Communities can hardly recover before they are hit by another disaster. Madagascar is a case in point where we saw a devastating drought last year, and before those effects could be relieved, some of those same communities have been impacted by cyclone Batsirai recently.” said Andoniaina Ratsimamanga, Secretary-General of the Malagasy Red Cross Society. To support countries to cope, there is an urgent need to address underlying vulnerabilities in communities, including poverty and marginalization, and providing support to those most exposed to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, there is incredible potential that lies within the African continent to address these challenges, including innovative approaches by young people and women to issues such as land restoration and the use of digital platforms. For more information, or to request an interview, please contact: In Nairobi: Euloge Ishimwe, +254 735 437 906, [email protected] In South Africa: Thandie Mwape, +27 66 486 8455, [email protected]

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04/02/2022 | Emergency

Madagascar: Tropical storm and cyclone

Torrential rains and widespread flooding in early 2022 severely affected communities across Madagascar. The country was badly hit by Tropical Storm Ana on 23 January followed byCyclone Batsiraion 5 February, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. This Emergency Appeal enables the IFRC to support the Malagasy Red Cross in helping vulnerable people impacted by these multiple weather systems. Priorities includefood assistance, emergency shelter and non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as health, nutrition and protection services.

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04/02/2022 | Press release

Madagascar: More than 4 million people at risk as Tropical Cyclone Batsirai bears down on eastern coast

Antananarivo/Nairobi, 4 February 2022—Tropical Cyclone Batsirai, is expected to strike the Atsinanana region of Madagascar tomorrow, only weeks after tropical storm Ana wreaked havoc in the country. Ahead of its landfall, Madagascar Red Cross Society’s teams in the region are preparing emergency relief items and helping communities in the path of the cyclone to move to safe areas. Andoniaina Ratsimamanga, the Secretary General of Madagascar Red Cross said: “Communities across the Atsinanana region are worried about the potential widespread damage the cyclone could cause. Many families urgently need temporary shelters, especially those whose homes are located in the areas that are likely to be impacted by the cyclone. It is predicted that about 4.4 million people are at risk across 14 districts; with about 595,000 expected to be directly affected, and more than 150,000 likely to be displaced. Red Cross teams Atsinanana region are rushing to make necessary preparations, with a view to saving as many lives as possible. “Madagascar Red Cross Society’s teams and partners are on high alert and are deployed in communities, warning them of the approaching storm. Red Cross teams are moving prepositioned emergency stocks from Grand Tana area (Ananalamanga) to Tamatave (Atsinanana), for ease of access. We are concerned by the size and projected impact of this intense cyclone. Our immediate response activities will focus on saving lives, and they will include search and rescue operations,” added Ratsimamanga. Moreover, Red Cross teams are working with the Government to identify and set up safe buildings which will be utilized as emergency accommodation centres. With emergency response efforts still ongoing due to the impact of tropical storm Ana that hit the Madagascar in late January, the impact of Batsirai could worsen the overall country’s humanitarian situation. The country’s emergency response efforts are overstretched, and the situation remains critical due to the impact of the recent widespread flooding, water stagnation and landslides caused by tropical storm Ana. At least 55 deaths have been recorded and more than 130,000 people have been forced to flee their homes to temporary shelters or host families in the last few weeks. The country is still grappling with a prolonged hunger crisis since 2021. IFRC and its partners are stepping up preparedness and response efforts, to assist more people—both those affected by Ana and those that are likely to be impacted by Batsirai IFRC’s Programmes and Operations Coordinator in Madagascar, Denis Bariyanga, who is overseeing emergency preparedness efforts, said. “We are already helping 2000 families affected by tropical storm Ana to meet their immediate needs. With the landfall of Batsirai, many more families in the country will require emergency relief items, including blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, water, sanitation and hygiene, among others.” The IFRC had already released 428,609 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 26 January 2022, to support Madagascar Red Cross to provide water, sanitation, and hygiene services, healthcare, and psychosocial support, as well as cash assistance for shelter, livelihood and basic needs. More financial resources are needed to meet the increasing needs on the ground. IFRC is revising its emergency appeal for funding the crisis response. For more information, or to request an interview, please contact: In Madagascar Mialy Caren Ramanantoanina, +261 329 842 144, [email protected] Ny Antsa Mirado Rakotondratsimba, +261 34 54 458 76, [email protected] Denis Bariyanga, (WhatsApp: +250 786 527 056), [email protected] María Mercedes Martínez; +261 32 1132 624, [email protected] In Nairobi Euloge Ishimwe, +254 735 437 906, [email protected]

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15/12/2021 | Press release

Over 57 million affected by climate disasters across Asia Pacific in 2021

Kuala Lumpur, 15 December 2021 – Asia and the Pacific have experienced relentless and unpredictable climate-related disasters in 2021, severely affecting more than 57 million people during the peak of the global pandemic. In 2021, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched 26 new operations, 15 of which are climate-related disaster responses. The IFRC is still responding to a further 21 disasters across Asia and the Pacific, from previous years. South Asia has been the worst hit this year, with millions of people affected by multiple disasters and little time to recover from one to the next. In India, more than 18 million people have been severely impacted by floods and cyclones this year, according to data from the Indian Government, Disaster Management Division. In Bangladesh, more than half a million people have been swamped by floods, with hundreds of villages marooned for weeks at a time. Around one third of Nepal suffered floods or landslides with many occurring outsides of the traditional monsoon season. Jessica Letch, IFRC Emergency Operations Manager said: “For much of this year, millions of families across Asia have been reeling after multiple blows from successive disasters and the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “From India to Indonesia, in Nepal and Bangladesh, our health and emergency teams are reporting livelihoods shattered by frequent and unpredictable climate disasters.” In China’s Henan Province, 13.9 million people were affected by severe flooding in July. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia has been worst affected by disasters, with more than one million people swamped by floods in the past month alone, according to the Indonesian Government Regional Disaster Authority. Drought, combined with associated economic collapse – which unfolds slowly but with devastating consequences – is affecting more than 22.8 million people in Afghanistan, according to the latest Integrated Food Security data. Other countries across Asia have also been hit by multiple disasters. Nearly one million people were swamped by flooding in Thailand, more than half a million people affected by floods and typhoons in the Philippines and over 125,000 people hit by floods in Myanmar. Pacific Island countries also faced significant flooding due to storms and rising sea tides. “Responding to disasters at the height of the COVID pandemic has involved some of the most complex operations and the changing climate is throwing unpredictable floods and storms at millions of people, making life even tougher,” said Jessica Letch. “As risks mount with climate change, the IFRC is investing in anticipatory early warning systems to better prepare communities to act before disasters strike, to reduce the loss of lives and livelihoods.” For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: In Kuala Lumpur: Antony Balmain, +60 12 230 8451, [email protected]

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26/08/2021 | Emergency type

Floods

Floods are when water overflows from the normal boundaries of a stream, river or other body of water or accumulates in an area that is usually dry.There are two main types of floods:inundation floods are slow, developing over hours or days, whileflash floods occur suddenly, often without warning, usually due to heavy rain. Though annual flooding is a natural phenomenon in many parts of the world, human habitation and land-use practices have led to an increase in frequency and magnitude of floods. Floodsare also predicted to become even more frequent and severe in future due to climate change. Floods can be extremely dangerous and cause massive human, environmentaland material damage to communities.

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11/09/2020 | Emergency

Sudan: Floods

Heavy rains in Sudan from July to September 2020 caused devastating flooding, destruction of infrastructure and homes, killed more than 100 people and displaced thousands across the country. All 18 states of Sudan were affected and overall needs in the country have continued to grow due to a severe economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. In July and August 2022, further severe flooding occurred claiming more lives and making an already precarious situation for many communities even worse.

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08/10/2021 | Press release

Thailand: Nearly 1 million people hit by floods amid COVID surge 

Kuala Lumpur/Bangkok, 8 October, 2021–Nearly one million people across Thailand are struggling to cope with devastating floods that have submerged large areas in more than a third of the country. Around 300,000 houses have been affected by the flooding and nine people are reported to have lost their lives according to the Thai GovernmentDepartment of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, in what is being described as the worst floods in a decade in parts of Thailand. Thai Red Cross teams are stretched to the limit, providing clean water and food, while trying to keep people safe from COVID-19 and ramping up critical vaccination drives across the country. Dr Amnat Bali, Director of Relief and Community Health Bureau, Thai Red Cross, said: “What we’ve seen in Lopburi, Singburi and other areas north of Bangkok is that people are expecting to live with the flood waters for several weeks. “Our volunteers and emergency teams have been working nonstop since the floods began, providing food, and other relief supplies to thousands of people, but we need to support many more as hundreds of thousands of people have flooded homes. “As soon as the floods subside, we are working alongside local health authorities to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations for older people, migrant workers and others most vulnerable.” The Thai Red Cross Society disaster response teams have delivered more than 52,000 relief kits with food, water, medicines, sanitary pads, mosquito repellents, cloth masks and hand sanitizers in 20 provinces. Thai Red Cross Society’s boats and an evacuation truck have been rescuing people and providing relief. Kathryn Clarkson, Southeast Asia Head of Delegation, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said: “These floods come at a difficult time for people already grappling with multiple crises particularly the tragic health and economic toll of COVID-19. “People need long term support as their ability to recover is stretched while still trying to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. Thai people are resilient, however this is the first time they are adapting to two major crises at the same time.” For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: In Bangkok: Preeti Abraham,+66 61 412 3910 [email protected] In Kuala Lumpur: Antony Balmain,+60 12 230 8451 [email protected] About IFRC IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives and promote dignity around the world. www.ifrc.org-Facebook-Twitter-YouTube

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