AmeriCares Responds to India’s Historic Drought
As India’s worst drought in more than four decades shatters the lives of millions of people in the west central state of Maharashtra, AmeriCares India is mobilizing a response to help residents facing water scarcity, food shortages, and loss of livelihood.
Impossible living conditions are forcing villagers, who are primarily farmers, to either migrate to neighboring districts with clean water or walk up to three kilometers daily, risking disease from the contaminated water that is available. The Indian government has responded to the crisis by sending trains carrying water to the worst-hit districts.
The India emergency team is focusing on three major areas of support:
- Health Camps: The shortage of clean water creates a heightened risk of malnutrition and water-borne diseases in a region that has limited resources to treat both acute and chronic diseases. AmeriCares will support free health camps to reach 104 villages in 4 districts, providing medicines, supplies and other support for local partners.
- Nutrition Support: Mothers, who are traveling to collect water, and their children currently lack access to adequate food and are at risk of disease and malnutrition. AmeriCares will provide Mother and Child Care Kits (containing a three-month supply of nutritional supplement) to families at risk. Vulnerable elderly populations will also receive nutritional supplements.
- Clean Water: While the government is working to build the infrastructure necessary to supply the region with water, much of the water that is currently available is not safe for drinking or cooking. AmeriCares will provide water purification tablets to communities without clean water.
AmeriCares is also delivering personal hygiene and other relief supplies as the effects of this slow moving and deadly disaster create more hardships for the people of the region.
AmeriCares India, based in Mumbai, provides emergency medical and humanitarian aid in response to floods, cyclones, earthquakes and other disasters. Most recently, the AmeriCares India team responded to massive flooding in Tamil Nadu in 2016, the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, the 2014 flooding in Jammu and Kashmir and the 2013 flooding in Uttarakhand. AmeriCares India also provides health education, supports health workforce safety programs and operates seven mobile medical clinics that provide free primary care services at 130 locations throughout the slums of Mumbai.