World Vision Aids Over 30,000 Families in India

Working to meet the needs of 40,000 families in four mainland states of south India, one of the largest Christian relief and development organizations in the world recently reported that the second phase of its relief effort is nearly complete.

“We have covered at least 30,000 families, and the rest will be done in the next three days,” said World Vision India Relief Manager Moses Vijaya Kumar.

World Vision, which has set a $50 million goal to help the victims of the South Asia disaster, is working closely with local authorities, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and corporate groups to bring relief to thousands of people affected by the tsunami.

According to World Vision, relief distributions have been conducted in ten of the worst affected districts in India, including the city of Chennai. Items distributed have included food such as rice and lentils, as well as bedding, clothing and utensils.

The agency reports that it is now planning its next phase of relief, hoping to reach 20,000 more families. "World Vision will provide boats, fishing nets, temporary shelter, educational materials for children, household materials and post-trauma care," said Kumar.

Meanwhile, efforts are now being made to bring relief to people in the Andaman and Nicobar islands—home to some of the oldest tribes in the world. Located close to the undersea fault that caused the tsunami, these islands bore the brunt of the wave on Dec. 26. The damage to infrastructure on the islands is estimated at $5.8 million (USD).

Currently, World Vision has teams moved into Port Blair, the capital of the island chain, to conduct initial assessments. Led by Alex Snary from World Vision's Global Rapid Response Team (GRRT), the team liaised with governments, other NGOs and churches to assess the needs and start off a quick response.

“Our response will be to provide much-needed items such as sanitary goods, clothes for children and women, sweaters, feeding bottles, candles and matches, torches and mattresses,” said Jadson Moses, one of the members of the assessment teams on the ground. The items will be distributed to close to 3,000 people now living in three displacement camps in Port Blair.

“The people in the camps are well cared for with good sanitation and clean atmosphere. There is no apparent danger of epidemics or outbreaks,” said Moses. “The administration and NGOs are working closely together”.

As the island is normally dependent on supplies and amenities from the mainland, the items for distribution will be procured either in Delhi or Chennai and then airlifted to Port Blair.

“The airlift, which is being coordinated by an international procurement agency, should be coming in the next two days,” said Moses, adding that the distribution would start soon after the plane touched down.