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Flooding hits ten million people in India's most populous and poorest state

Christian Aid is launching an immediate appeal for the people hit by the devastating India floods.  More than 800,000 people have had their villages submerged by severe flooding in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. 

More than 30,000 people have taken shelter in government-run relief camps while thousands have fled to local schools and community centers for safety.  150 villages are marooned, cut off from all relief efforts.  

The flooding is the result of heavy rainfall over the last three weeks in Nepal, which caused the river Ghaghra to burst its banks, a steep rise in water levels in rivers throughout Uttar Pradesh and has affected up to 10 million people.

Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Christian Aid’s Regional Emergency Manager for South Asia, said: ‘The disaster in Uttah Pradesh has not gained the attention needed to scale up the necessary emergency response from the government and international community.

‘We are very concerned for those affected by the floods, many of whom are from the Dalit communities, India’s oppressed class, who have nothing to depend upon during an emergency situation other than relief assistance from the government and humanitarian agencies.’

Christian Aid and its partners are already responding by delivering food and other relief supplies to the worst affected communities. The local partners, CASA and PGVS, have long experience of acting quickly in humanitarian emergencies.’ Said Sajjad Mohammad Sajid.

Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state and nearly 40 % of its 140 million people live below the poverty line.  Many are from the Dalit communities, formerly known as untouchables.  Exclusion based on caste and religion is rampant in these areas.  Most are landless labourers and small-scale farmers who work on land belonging to people from upper castes, which leads exploitation by the landowners. The destruction of crops in the field means they will not have any work for months to come.  This means they are particularly vulnerable in this kind of disaster.

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To donate to Christian Aids India floods appeal, please visit www.christianaid.org.uk/india-floods

If you would like further information or to speak to a spokesperson based in India please contact Jo Rogers on 020 7523 2460 and 07590 710 942 or the 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3.  Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk