GUWAHATI, July 12 - With over 6 lakh children directly affected by the current wave of flood in Assam, ‘Save the Children’ has embarked on a child-centric humanitarian assistance providing family kits — comprising hygiene and shelter kits — to the families in Tubikajar village of Chariduar circle in Sonitpur.
It will reach out to about 1000 families within a week and aims to reach a total of 3,000 families in Dhemaji and Sonitpur districts during this phase of the flood response.
“The non-profit organisation is continuously assessing the needs of the children and their families to determine expansion of its assistance. Save the Children has completed a rapid assessment of the situation as part of the Inter-Agency Group in Assam,” a press release stated.
Chittapriyo Sadhu, team leader for Save the Children for the Assam flood response, said, “Children can’t wait during emergencies. Attention needs to be paid to ensure that they get adequate food for children, clean drinking water and health services. They also need to be protected, as families are often separated or children have to live with strangers. Psycho-social needs begin to surface during the emergency and can continue for a prolonged period even after the catastrophe is over.”
“Children vulnerability had increased due to the fact that many of the Anganwadi Centres, schools and health facilities are not functioning. Therefore, Save the Children has begun to operationalise up to 10 child-friendly spaces (CFS’) which are being set up in the worst-affected areas,” the statement informed.
“Since there is no school, children have to be tended by persons who are equipped to manage them in a safe environment. Each CFS can accommodate up to 40 children and has a trained local facilitator,” it added.
Save the Children has been working in Assam since 2002 and our experience shows that child-protection issues, like trafficking and labour, get exacerbated due to humanitarian crises.
Like the last two years, Save the Children was among the biggest responders to the floods in Assam and the only one offering a composite child-centric response.
The leading non-profit for children in India maintains that children have specific needs during such emergencies, which require focused and coordinated action by the Government, civil society organisation and the affected communities.