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Himachal Pradesh Floods 2023 - Humanitarian Assistance

From July to September 2023, heavy rains during the South-west Monsoon triggered devastating floods and landslides, wreaking havoc on the state and causing widespread damage to public and private properties, blockage of roads, landslides, flashfloods, damage to bridges, complete disruptions of electrical and communication system, including a huge loss of human lives and livelihoods in different parts of Himachal Pradesh. As per the reports published by the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA), the state received an average rainfall of 734.4 mm (June-September) that was unprecedented for the state. The rains and subsequent floods also triggered more than 5500 landslides at different locations in the state. The landslides impacted more than 200 villages, destroying 1772 houses and affecting 11895 people.

In this time of crisis, the affected communities were grappling with unimaginable losses caused by this disaster. The survivors were left with nothing but shattered lives, and the need for food and non-food items was growing critically with every passing day. Doers had already started providing humanitarian assistance to the affected populations in the form of essential relief goods that were donated by Amazon India as a part of a joint Disaster Relief initiative with DonateKart. In the month of October 2024, Doers was approached by the People to People Health Foundation (PPHF) to become a partner in the Medreich-supported CSR initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to the flood-affected populations in Himachal. The initiative aimed at providing need-based and customized disaster relief kits to 1000 households in five flood-affected districts of the state that, until that point of time, were not paid enough attention by the donor agencies mainly due to a relatively lesser coverage by the national media.

Under this initiative, Doers planned and carried out a well-coordinated Relief Distribution drive that ensured the provision of Relief Kits to 1000 households affected by the disaster in districts Solan, Shimla, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Kinnaur. Team Doers first carried out a Rapid Needs Assessment to understand the specific requirements of the affected communities and then developed a robust Humanitarian Assistance Plan in close coordination with the HPSDMA and the District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs) of the respective districts, especially the DDMA Solan. The District Emergency Operation Center (DEOC), Solan housed at the Old DC Office complex was made the Central Hub for the storage of Relief Materials and executing the operations. After a through scrutiny and due diligence, our team identified 1000 households from 328 Gram Panchayats in five districts. Adhering to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, we carried out the relief distribution drive within a span of 10 days.

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