ActionAid International USA

ActionAid works alongside poor and vulnerable people to end poverty and the injustices that cause it.
Mar 8, 2011

Our final report on 2008 Bihar Floods

Sarita Devi
Sarita Devi


Many thanks for being a great ActionAid supporter to help floods victims in Bihar. ActionAid’s long-term engagements were undertaken to restore livelihoods, create new jobs and build community resources in Bihar after one of the worst floods in its history. We focused our efforts on women and children. The villages that were worst affected had a large number of single women households, with men working in cities for the lack of livelihood.


  • ·         Single and Strong, another story from one of floods survivors:


“This foot-enabled machine allows me to stitch clothes faster than I used to, when I had a hand machine,” says Sarita Devi.


“I can now take many more orders and deliver them on time, which is helping me earn more money,” she adds.


Sarita, 40, mother of four children is a very happy and brimming with confidence of being able to become a bread-winner for the family, after her husband passed way.  She received the foot sewing machine as a part of the livelihood initiative taken up my ActionAid Partner.



  • ·          Bihar was struck again in 2010


The cyclonic storm has swept the part of Bihar, West Bengal and Assam during mid-night of 14th April 2010 and left a trail of destruction along the path with at least 111 deaths and hundreds injured in eastern parts of Bihar and northern part of Bengal and Assam. "From the extent of twisted trees and poles, the depth of thundercloud and volume of devastation, it appears to be a tornado," said G C Debnath, Director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Alipore, "The casualties were high because the storm struck when people had retired for the night and were caught unaware.


ActionAid was in Supaul district where it was implementing rehabilitation program for Koshi floods survivors along with its two local partners. Some ActionAid’s operational areas were affected by the storm.


ActionAid was working closely with its partners to provide relief items, including drinking water, food and temporary shelters for storm victims.



  • ·         An update from Bihar area: Land March


ActionAid stood alongside with hundreds of landless and marginalized women and men marched on foot in Bihar to demand action on unfilled agenda of land reforms on December 25, 2010.


The poverty in Bihar, like elsewhere in India, is rooted in lack of control over land and the consequent feudal structure. This is reflected in Bihar having one of the lowest per capita incomes in India. Those who suffer denial of basic rights and atrocities are dalits, tribal and women, from the marginalized communities.


"The march passed through areas that have seen land struggles and dominated by upper castes land lords. The peaceful march came in as a new approach for the struggle for land to the landless," said ActionAid Bihar regional manager Vinay Ohdar.


Please visit our website at to find out more information about “Land March” in Bihar.

As ActionAid is retiring this project on GlobalGiving, please kindly support our other projects on GlobalGiving or visit our website learn what we do around the world.

Bihar Land March 2010
Bihar Land March 2010


Jan 7, 2011

Pakistan Floods- an update 4 months on

Maqsood Mai
Maqsood Mai

Current situation for the areas where ActionAid is working:

Sindh Province: According to latest figures from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), over 7.27 million people remain affected by the floods in Sindh povince. Nearly half of the affected population is from four districts: Dadu, Thatta, Jacocobad, and Qambar Shadadkot. Water is receding from parts of the province but large areas, mostly in Dadu and Jamshoro districts are expected to remain under water for up to six months. In these areas, prolonged relief assistance will be required.

Punjab Province: Over 4.9 million people were affected by the floods in 11 districts in Punjab. The three most affected districts are Muzaffargarh District (with nearly 36 percent of the total affected population), Rajanpur District (20 percent) and Mianwali District (13 percent). Figures from PDMA suggest that few camps remain in the province. Four of nine camps were recently closed. An estimated 7,000 people remain displaced due to the floods. However, a large majority of displaced people have returned to their areas of origin. Provision of shelter and restoration of livelihoods are therefore the key priorities. The provincial authority has announced that it will provide seed and fertilizers to small land holders.

Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK): Together with the provincial authorities, the humanitarian community is assessing conditions for the return of conflict-affected IDPs from South Waziristan and Orakzai districts. In follow up to a recent security and inter-cluster rapid needs assessment undertaken in South Waziristan, a Returns Intention Surveys (RIS) has been launched for those IDPs originating from South Waziristan as well as Orakzai where the Government envisages returns. An inter-agency returns task force has been established to ensure safe and voluntary returns of IDPs.

ActionAid Response:

As November 2010, we have reached 18,188 families with immediate relief including food, NFIs, hygiene kits and fodder for livestock. We will be reaching 11,467 more households in next 5 months focusing on protection, psychosocial support and cash for work activities.   

In Layyah and Kot Adu (South Punjab), we are supporting 300 extremely vulnerable families each in house construction by providing them Material and Cash for Work, the three month project started from November, 2010.

One year early recovery and rehabilitation project funded by AusAID project to support 2,600 families in Punjab has started in November, 2010 focusing on establishing women and child friendly spaces, providing goats and poultry to women to support their livelihood, supporting kitchen gardens for women and providing related trainings and support for women’s enterprise development (small shops and businesses).

Sindh’s Kashmore district is one of the worst affected area where ActionAid is helping flood affected communities in relief and early recovery. we are developing women and child friendly spaces in addition to using street theatre for community awareness on disaster preparedness, women’s rights  and protection issues. A large number of schools have been damaged or destroyed in Kashmore (Sindh) due to which children’s education is hampered. Our Child friendly spaces are helping children learn and play under the supervision of trained facilitators who belong to the same area. These facilitators have been hired and trained by ActionAid.

Story from South Punjab:

45 years old Maqsood Mai, from Bait Wasava Shumali (Layyah District-south Punjab). Maqsood Mai’s mud house collapsed and was washed away in the floods. She received food, mattresses and hygiene kit from Avaaz funded project which ActionAid carried out through local partner Participatory Welfare services. Four months after the floods, Maqsood Mai has managed to re-construct one room where she puts her children to sleep.

She says “after the floods washed away my house no one came to my help except Avaaz and ActionAid. They gave us food, mattresses and sheets. Now I have managed to build one room with whatever money I had. I hope ActionAid will help me build one more room for my large family.” Maqsood Mai’s household has been selected for shelter support and soon she will be provided cash and raw material for constructing an additional room to accommodate her large family.

“Now my family needs a roof as winters are approaching and if my children sleep in the open, I fear the may catch a cold and fall ill.”

Relief items distribution by ActionAid
Relief items distribution by ActionAid
Faqiran Mai 59 with her grandson Hamid 14
Faqiran Mai 59 with her grandson Hamid 14
Nov 1, 2010

Bihar Floods- Two Years Later

livelihood initiative Project for floods victims
livelihood initiative Project for floods victims


You've helped people affected by floods in Bihar have a better life. Thank You!

Two years after Bihar was struck by one of the worst floods in its history, communities and families are living their lives again.

Following this emergency , a long-term engagements were undertaken to restore livelihoods, create new jobs and build community resources. ActionAid started livelihood support work in Triveniganj, Raghopur block of Supaul District as well as other areas months after the floods.

ActionAid had reached out to the most vulnerable families through the village councils in the area. A Participatory Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) survey was conducted to identify the most vulnerable people, with a special focus on women.

Stories from flood affected communities:

  • Proud and Independent

Forty-year-old Neelam Devi has found a new role in life after the floods swept away her life two years ago. She now runs a daycare for children of the villagers who have found employment at Cash for Work project as a part of an intervention in Satanpatti village in Raghopur Block.

I look after 50 children at this daycare. They are given food and medical support,” says Neelam Devi. My life has become better and I can now afford to feed my family vegetables and pluses, as opposed to just onions,” she adds with pride.

  •  Living Again

I am very happy that I got this stitching machine. My life is made,” says Saliman Khatun, 50, a widow, as she stitches a new skirt for her granddaughter in her small but beautifully kept shop. She received the machine as part of ActionAid's livelihood initiative for flood-affected families. She lost her house and livestock and lived in a shelter in a nearby government-run camp.

“With what I earn now, I am able to pay the school fee of my two children.”  She now receives several orders from neighboring villages and earns about Rs. 75 a day.

 “The support has allowed me to get my life back on track,” she adds.


To ActionAid Bihar project supporters,

As winter approaches, the UN estimates that there are currently 1.2 million people in 6,300 camps and settlements across Pakistan. The largest number of displaced people is currently in Sindh, where the worst of the flooding has taken place. The need for shelter, health, nutrition still persists.

Health and hygiene remain the most critical concern in camps and gastroenteritis cases continue to be high and 453 schools have been vacated since 17 September, bringing the total number of schools used as shelters down to 3,180 (housing 957,441 people).

ActionAid is allocating its resources to provide relief assistance to people in Pakistan and we need your help. Please continue to support our Pakistan relief project on Globalgiving as we are retiring our Bhair project.

Please visit for more information.

Thank you for your life-saving work.

Child Day Care Center
Child Day Care Center