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CSR to 'step in' to rescue flood-affected, appeals NGO Save the Children
Following the floods that have wreaked havoc for over a month now, Indian corporates need to urgently 'step in' to rescue affected people in Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, NGO Save the Children has appealed.

As part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), private companies can make a vital contribution to help people and communities who are at risk with continuing heavy monsoon rainfall. So far, over 3.5 million people have been affected by the floods - which resulted in hundreds of lives lost and huge losses in terms of livestock, standing crops, damage to houses etc. The future of millions is hopeless without strong support from government, civil society and the private sector.

"Save the Children has been intervening along with corporates during humanitarian crises over the past 6 years," informed Thomas Chandy, CEO of Save the Children, who felt that the private sector should increase its participation in humanitarian responses.

In response to last month's floods, Save the Children has appealed for support to corporates for the first phase of response (targeted for 6 months) which will include the following activities like; distribution of Hygiene kits (includes mosquito nets), enabling Potable water (aquataps, water purification tablets), distribution of Tarpaulins to act as transitional shelter, distribution of Solar lamps to provide lighting to families at night due to the floods, health Camps to meet the immediate health needs for affected families in the intervening districts.

Progressive relief phase will include monetary assistance for enabling most marginalized communities with temporary relief to carry out work in clearing debris, repair local infrastructure and eventually enable agricultural restoration and livelihood support for most affected families. The comprehensive package of relief includes interventions in Child Protection and Education, like Child-Friendly Spaces

Chandy added that Save the Children has systems in place to guide and operationalize the CSR spending and required reports in accordance with Schedule VII of the companies Bill. Corporates can link support to humanitarian efforts with a CSR option, under the required 2% spends.

During the Uttarakhand floods last year, Save the Children had raised a total of Rs. 8 crore from corporates. The largest donors were- Temasek, Juniper, HP, P&G, HSBC, Starwood Hotels, Care Today, eBay and H&M. Because of this support, Save the Children is continuing to work with communities spread across 100 villages in Uttarakhand to help people rebuild their lives.

For the current flood relief efforts, Save the Children has been able to respond in Odisha and U.P. and is awaiting support for increasing its scope of work. Among the corporate donors to Save the Children for Odisha are Fullerton, P&G, Indigo, Reckitt Benckiser and Amazon – who has created a wishlist of 34 items for 10,000 families on their website

Much more needs to be done and CSR during humanitarian crises can enable a quick and efficient response. Corporates remain a vital source of funds that can help alleviate the problems ensuing from floods and other catastrophes.

Save the Children works across 16 states of India and apart from its humanitarian work, it concentrates of issues related to education, health and protection of the most marginalized children.

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