Aide et Action Is Spending Rs. 5 Million in the First Phase of Cyclone Fani Relief & Rehabilitation Efforts in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar : As Odisha battles for resources to respond to the impact of Cyclone Fani, one of the worst cyclones to hit the state in decades, Aide et Action, an international not-for-profit organization, released an immediate aid of INR 5 million (Rs. 50 Lakhs) to support its humanitarian response for children and families devastated by the cyclone in the state. This has been made possible because of the generous donation of Aide et Action supporters in France. “Akin to the massive response to the Nepal earthquake in 2015, our French donors spontaneously contacted us to know about cyclone Fani affected communities. Aide et Action, using its emergency fund, immediately took a decision to support the affected communities in Odisha- one of the poorest regions in the country,” says Charles-Emmanuel Ballanger, International Director – Aide et Action.

In the first phase of the project, Aide et Action is focusing on child-friendly initiatives promoting a safe and healthy environment for children in schools in 70 villages of Nimapara block in Puri district of Odisha. The project is ensuring psycho-social support to children, providing learning kits, undertaking the immediate repair of damaged schools, and advocating with the government to provide mid-day meals to all the children during the summer vacation apart from making sure the availability of various other social security benefits to the affected families.

In the last week, more than 500 affected children in Nimapara block received learning kits comprising notebooks, school bag, stationary and a solar lamp, which has made it possible for most to resume their education immediately.

“Children are incredibly vulnerable when it comes to disasters. They undergo high stress that affects their psycho-social well-being. Our first task would be to ensure access to education and counseling support to the affected children at the earliest,” said Umi Daniel, Director – Migration & Education, coordinating Aide et Action response from Bhubaneswar with an experienced team supporting him. “We have already initiated action on the ground by reaching out to the children and providing them with learning kits to enable them to resume their education. This has been accomplished with the support and collaboration of the school management and gram panchayats,” he added.

The aid will also help to initiate community managed disaster response in the affected area with a special focus on the need and safety of children.

Apart from implementing this project directly, Aide et Action is partnering with local NGOs having experience and expertise on humanitarian response and have a physical presence in the operational areas to implement the project. Aide et Action plans to expand the intervention to Gop and Puri Sadar blocks of Puri district covering 50 gram panchayats and reaching out to 15,000 children in the next phase to be initiated soon.