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Assistance to Flood Victims in the Amur Region
Geneva, 28 August 2013
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
In August 2013, several regions of the Russian Far East near the Amur River were affected by the most severe floods in recent decades. Authorities have declared an emergency in the Amur region, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast and the Khabarovsk region. Official data indicates 9500 houses in 190 villages are flooded, at least 98,000 people (including about 8000 children) are affected, and more than 24,000 people have been evacuated to temporary accommodation. Estimated damage caused by flooding is approximately 1 billion USD. New flooding is expected due to continuous rain and heavy water flows from the Chinese tributaries into the Amur River. Particularly threatened by the flood water is the largest regional city of Khabarovsk where the river has risen over seven metres.
2. Why is an ACT response needed?
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) and local authorities are providing assistance to the population and are coordinating relief efforts. However, the flood affected area is vast and a joint effort of all these who are able to provide support is needed in order to save lives. This includes the civilian population, clergy, monks and the leadership of the local diocese of ACT Alliance member the Russian Orthodox Church, which is already taking part in the construction of dams round the clock.
3. National and international response
Authorities have organised vaccination against infectious diseases and are providing urgent medical care. Governmental and non-governmental organisations are planning to provide victims with shelter, food, clothing, bedding and medicine.
4. ACT Alliance response
The Russian Orthodox Church has assisted flood victims from the beginning of the emergency. Following His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s call for assistance, local dioceses and parishes have actively participated in evacuating affected populations and have provided emergency assistance to survivors. Diocesan and local church structures have been set up to coordinate this work. They are also involved in drawing up lists of survivors and those most in need, and are gathering information about their emergency needs. Local bishops have appealed to the Synodal structures in Moscow, to government authorities, local clergy, parishioners and all peoples to provide urgent assistance to flood survivors.
5. Planned activities
According to the local church structures, flood-affected people now urgently need drinking water, baby diapers, hygiene products and antiseptics. Consequently, the Russian Orthodox Church is planning to request funds from the ACT Rapid Response Fund (RRF) for emergency lifesaving assistance to survivors in Khabarovsk and regional areas in greatest need of assistance. Up to 2,000 people will receive vitally important drinking water, hygiene items, diapers and antiseptics.
Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, Director of Finance (firstname.lastname@example.org)