MINISTER O'DONNELL APPROVES £200,000 FOR VICTIMS OF INDIA CYCLONE
Liz O'Donnell, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance, has announced immediate allocation of IR£200,000 in emergency humanitarian assistance in response to the devastating cyclone which hit the Indian state of Rissa last week.
The Minister said:
"The devastating cyclone which struck Orissa state last week, causing massive damage, came as the people were still recovering from a storm less than two weeks before. Millions of people have been left homeless and hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops destroyed, resulting in widespread hunger."
The cyclone caused widespread damage to infrastructure and communications making it extremely difficult to obtain even preliminary information concerning damage and casualties. There is still no reliable estimate of the numbers killed by the cyclone, but the death-toll could run to thousands. Up to 20 million people in one of the most densely populated coastal regions of India have been affected by the cyclone.
Minister O'Donnell said "This is a major humanitarian disaster. The immediate priority is get assistance to those in need as quickly as possible. The grants I have announced today will be used for the supply of emergency relief packs, food and temporary shelter. A proportion of the funds is being channelled through Christian Aid which is operational on the ground and working with a local NGO partner. Some funding will also be channelled through UN agencies."