In response to havoc caused by Cyclone Gaja across large parts of Tamil Nadu in mid-November, the European Commission is allocating EUR 105,000 to provide emergency assistance to the most affected communities.
The aid will benefit 17,500 people in the worst-hit districts of Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Thanjavur.
This fund will help the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) deliver life-saving support to the most vulnerable families through the distribution of emergency shelter material and relief items, such as tarpaulins, kitchen sets and household kits. Long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets are also being provided to mitigate the risk of vector-borne diseases amongst the impacted communities.
The relief efforts will focus on individuals whose houses were destroyed and livelihoods lost in the wake of the cyclone, as well as female-headed households and people with disabilities who are currently living in temporary shelters and relief camps.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Over 60 people were killed and close to 2,50,000 people were displaced when the devastating Cyclone Gaja made landfall in Tamil Nadu in the early hours of November 16.
The storm brought torrential downpours and strong wind gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour, causing severe damage to houses, crops, and public infrastructure.
According to government data, more than 1,17,000 houses were damaged, nearly 50 per cent of which were totally destroyed. Affected families are currently living in more than 490 temporary shelters across the state.