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Jammu & Kashmir flood: Save the Children pledge support for immediate relief
Save the Children, an NGO has committed to support Jammu & Kashmir government's immediate appeal for flood relief items by providing 5000 blankets. Following reports about the Children's Hospital in Srinagar being flooded, Save the Children is especially concerned about the plight of the children in the flood-ravaged Kashmir Valley and Jammu region, where the Jhelum and Tawi rivers are overflowing.
In the worst floods over the last 50 years in Jammu & Kashmir, over 170 people are already reported dead, with at least 106 of these being in the Jammu region itself. Children are always the worst hit during such humanitarian crises, the NGO's experience over a 100 years of existence has shown. According to the government, over 2,500 villages have been affected, with approximately 5 million people at risk and of these the estimated number of vulnerable children is 2.2 million.

Save the Children's J&K team has been stuck in the flooded Raj Bagh area of Srinagar and communication with team members and partners' staff across the state has broken down completely. "We are eager to get out and assist in the rescue and relief work, our movement is restricted due to the grim situation," said Thomas Chandy, CEO of Save the Children, who assured that his organisation would make an 'all out effort" to support the state government to reach out to children and their families in the state.

He also mentioned that apart from protection, children's nutrition and health of newborns/infants and young mothers and pregnant women are "immediate priorities" whereas long-term impact could also be on education and need for psycho-social support. Save the Children has a Child-Friendly Space initiative that can be launched to support children, especially in the secluded villages.

Several parts of Srinagar are flooded and people are fleeing their homes, which puts children especially at risk, given the fact that they are not able to fend for themselves in such a chaotic situation. Omar Abdullah, chief minister of J&K, claimed, "We are trying our best to reach you."

While the army helipads near the flood-affected areas are not operational at this point, Prime Minister Narender Modi is expected to visit Jammu to review the situation. The J&K state government today confirmed that the "situation is improving in Jammu and worsening in Kashmir". The CM was quoted by media, "We are doing our best to reach all of you (who are affected)" while he implored people to move to upper floors of their houses or to higher ground till help arrived.

Save the Children is mountaining a rapid humanitarian response to provide immediate relief to the first 500 households across the first three districts. Progressively, SC will also gear up to support the next 1,000 households in a few days. Tarpaulins, Hygiene Kits, Blankets and Tents will be provided in this rapid action. Save the Children will mount a full-scale Child Centred Humanitarian response targeting the most vulnerable children, women and communities.

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