The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making a USD 600,000 (Rs. 4.20 crore Approx.) grant to UNICEF to help strengthen relief and rehabilitation efforts in the southern Indian state of Kerala, which has been ravaged by the worst floods in almost a century. The emergency grant aims to bolster government efforts and initiatives by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the enormous task of assisting displaced, flood-affected people and helping them rebuild their lives. NGOs such as UNICEF are currently working in tandem with district administrations to spearhead relief efforts.
The health department in the state is seeking to prevent serious outbreaks of water-borne infectious diseases. There is also an urgent need to build temporary shelters and provide essentials like food, dry clothes, medicines, and blankets.
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extends its sympathies to the thousands of families affected by Kerala’s worst floods in nearly a century,” said Chris Elias, president of Global Development at the foundation, “We hope that our grant of fast and flexible funding will help UNICEF work with local governments and NGOs to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases and other severe health risks associated with flooding.”
The Gates Foundation’s Emergency Response program aims to help accelerate rapid responses to natural disasters and complex emergencies through the quick disbursement of funds to humanitarian organizations. The foundation also supports efforts to identify and scale up high-impact interventions that can help displaced people mitigate health risks and strengthen their capacity to cope with future crises.
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About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.