European Union (EU) aid to Bihar flood

Brussels, Aug 29 (IANS) The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), Friday announced that it was sending food aid and other relief material worth 1 million euro (around Rs.62 million) for the flood victims in the Indian state of Bihar. In a statement from Brussels, the commission said that an EU Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) team was on its way from New Delhi to assess needs of the flood victims in Bihar with a view to providing possible additional support, the EuAsiaNews reported.


It has been over 10 days since the Kosi river from Nepal changed its course after almost two centuries, sweeping over large swathes of the state. Last week, the river swelled following a breach in an embankment in Nepal.


Officially 12 people have died in the floods but the unofficial toll is a much higher 57. The floods have affected over two million people in 14 Bihar districts and around 150,000 people have been evacuated so far.


"Large swathes of Bihar state are under water, and the situation is exacerbated by the fact that many of the worst-hit communities have little experience of this kind of flood event," the statement said.


"In the initial stages, the emphasis will be on meeting the basic needs of the most vulnerable people for food, clean drinking water, shelter, essential household items and sanitation," it added.


Last week, the EU dispatched one million euro aid to help flood victims in Nepal.


Meanwhile, Heavy rains disrupted rescue and relief operations in the flood-ravaged state for the second consecutive day Friday, adding to the misery of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside down by the turbulent waters of the river.


Due to bad weather, the situation is worsening in the five worst affected districts of Madhepura, Saharsa, Supaul, Araria and Katihar, according to state officials.