South Asia Flood Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving
South Asia Flood Relief Fund

Last September, Pakistan saw the worst rainfall since records began 89 years ago. The largest city of Karachi was largely underwater, and thousands of people lost their lives. Now, climate scientists are warning that flooding in cities like Karachi will only get worse as the South Asia monsoon continues to shift.

Thankfully, nonprofits like Imkaan Welfare Organisation and PROTIBANDHI SHISHU SHIEKKHA O PARICHARJA SAMITY are helping their communities prepare and recover. Thanks to your ongoing commitment to the South Asia Relief Fund, our team was able to send a final round of grants to these two incredible organizations. 

As we now close our South Asia Flood Relief Fund, I’d like to tell you about two projects that will continue to support their communities through the 2021 monsoon season: 

  • Helping families repair flood damages. PROTIBANDHI SHISHU SHIEKKHA O PARICHARJA SAMITY is helping people like Mishir, a farmer who lives in Bangladesh, rebuild their homes and livelihoods. The 2020 floods devastated Mishir’s home and crops. This emergency relief project is helping Mishir and others repair the damage to their homes and farms and generate income from new activities. 
  • Supporting children in high-risk flood zones. Imkaan Welfare Organisation’s programs are based in Machar Colony, Karachi—one of the worst-hit areas during monsoon season. An estimated 60% of Karachi’s population lives in informal settlements like Machar Colony. Many of the children living in this area don’t have citizenship to any country, which means they also lack access to health benefits and education. Imkaan Welfare Organisation is helping students learn to code, participate in team sports, and receive an education

Though we are closing this fund, GlobalGiving will continue to support similar community-led projects across South Asia. 

Our nonprofit partners remain hard at work, and they need support to continue the long journey to full recovery. If you are able to, consider supporting a local organization in South Asia like Imkaan Welfare Organization, PROTIBANDHI SHISHU SHIEKKHA O PARICHARJA SAMITY, VOICE Trust, or Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) ahead of the upcoming monsoon season. 

From everyone at GlobalGiving, thank you for joining us in this vital work. Your generosity and support have fueled community-led disaster recovery across South Asia. 


Sami + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo from VOICE Trust
Photo from VOICE Trust

Your donation fueled direct relief in the days and weeks after the 2020 monsoon season, and it will continue to for years to come. And that’s not an exaggeration! Don’t believe us? Here’s just one example of how your donation could have multiplied its impact:

  1. You compassionately donated to GlobalGiving's South Asia Flood Relief Fund. 
  2. Your donation made it to nonprofits across South Asia, including VOICE Trust. This India-based nonprofit helps groups including children, farmers, women, and people with disabilities access vital resources. 
  3. VOICE Trust purchased goats for 35 women in some of the areas hit hardest by Cyclone Nivar. Purchasing goats for widows is one of the most effective ways to support economic recovery in storm-affected areas. “The sale of one goat can provide enough income for a year’s worth of groceries and healthcare,” Jill Hinckley of VOICE Trust said.
  4. Pappammal, a 52-year old widow, was among the women who received a goat. Pappammal was unable to find work after the floods because most of the local businesses shut down. Pappammal also received a relief package and mosquito coils to use in the evacuation shelters after the floods.
  5. Pappammal’s goat will give birth in six months. Pappammal can sell the baby goats for around $300 each to support her for the next year. Even better, her income will continue to grow as she breeds her new goats for years to come! 

“As the number of goats increases, and Pappammal’s income with it, she will be seen not as an object of charity, but as a strong and respected member of the community, and the community, in turn, will benefit from the money she has to spend,” Jill said. 

This is only one example of how your donation can make a real difference for people like Pappammal across South Asia. Thank you for making this work possible

But despite the success of programs like VOICE Trust, there’s still so much work to be done. Countries across South Asia are struggling to cope with both the COVID-19 crisis and another devastating monsoon season. By signing up for a monthly donation, you can help us continue supporting recovery efforts that last. 

I can’t wait to share where your generosity takes us next!

Sami + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo courtesy of Imkaan
Photo courtesy of Imkaan

While I could share countless statistics about how your donation is making a difference for communities across South Asia, I thought I’d share some insights from someone on the grounds: Imkaan Welfare Organization Director Tahera Hasan. Here’s what she had to say about overcoming the challenges brought on by this year’s devastating monsoon season.

Q: What do you wish more people knew about how your community was impacted by the floods across South Asia?

A: The community we work with is one of the largest informal settlements in Karachi, with a population of approximately 800,000. The majority of residents are of Bengali ethnicity and are therefore stateless. The community is mostly on land near the sea, and the homes are makeshift without any quality construction. The homes are lower than the level of the [road]lanes, which even in regular rainfalls causes damage as they become filled with water. The flooding this August due to its intensity left no home unaffected. There was waist-high water inside people’s homes with no place to sit, eat, or sleep. The aftermath of the rain left the community with diseases, damaged [road] lanes, and a lot of homes in need of rebuilding. 

Q: How have the funds you received from the GlobalGiving South Asia Flood Relief Fund made a difference for your community?

A: We run several projects in the community, but the maternity facility, health facility, and solid waste management facility suffered the most substantial impacts during the floods. The maternity facility, which is the only one in the community, was inundated with cases. Our staff was present 24 hours at the facility in these challenging circumstances and dealt with emergency cases effectively. There was an increase in skin infections, respiratory diseases, and gastroenteritis cases after the flooding.

GlobalGiving's South Asia Flood Relief Fund has really helped us deal with the increased number of patients that have been coming to our facilities, as the same has resulted in an increased need for medication and support. The fund has also assisted our solid waste management program, which has had to work at twice its strength to deal with the state of the community post-flooding.

Q: What are the greatest unmet, long-term needs in your community?

A: Being an underprivileged community brings challenges for all services to meet basic community needs. The added circumstance of being stateless deprives the community of any state attention or relief. The major unmet needs of the community range between health, education, recreation, housing, and water and sanitation. Because of the high levels of statelessness within the community, members cannot access government health facilities and children cannot go to school. 

There is general hopelessness due to the lack of a resolution to their issues. COVID-19 has been a major eye-opener of the vulnerability of the community after not being able to receive part of any government relief program. Even most NGOs had the prerequisite of an identity card to get relief. 

Q: What about your local community’s response to the floods makes you most proud?

A: The local community deals with the challenges of rain every year with an impact on their existence. People support and help each other—there was not one home where everyone around was not helping. It is this unity that strengthens a community. 

Q: Real disaster recovery is a long and difficult process. What inspires you to keep at it?

A: I think the one thing that keeps anyone going in disaster situations is the desire to see things change for the better and the need to contribute towards the same. I have worked in several disaster situations where immediate needs are addressed as part of relief work. However, it’s the rebuilding that takes time and long-term commitment. That can come for communities working for their betterment with assistance from organizations that work in those areas.

In my view, the fact that this particular community is deprived of identity despite there being a legal framework, purely because of non-implementation, is a disaster that has impacted every facet of their lives. We at Imkaan are committed to working towards advocating for their basic rights.

The generosity of donors like you make Tahera’s commitment to long-term recovery a reality for communities in Karachi. We are incredibly grateful for your continued support. Keep an eye out for more stories of how your donations are being put to work across South Asia in the coming months. 

With Gratitude, 

Sami A + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo courtesy of BEDS Bangladesh
Photo courtesy of BEDS Bangladesh

Your generous contribution to the South Asia Flood Relief Fund has strengthened local nonprofits’ capacity to respond to catastrophic floods that destroyed homes, threatened livelihoods, and left mosquito-borne diseases in their wake. The 2020 monsoon season has affected more than 25 million people in South Asia, and half of Bangladesh’s districts are currently underwater. This dire situation affects many in the region still recovering after the devastating storm in May, Cyclone Amphan.

While the statistics are sobering, the commitment of our nonprofit partners across South Asia is unwavering. Each year, these frontline heroes lead critical relief efforts to save lives and rebuild the livelihoods lost in the floodwaters. Let’s take a closer look: 

  • Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) has been working in the storm-prone coastal region of Bangladesh since 2010. As the community experienced the compounding crises of COVID-19 and Cyclone Amphan, BEDS sought to improve food access through sustainable shrimp farming and native seed cultivation. Community response teams led awareness programs, distributed masks, and provided families with flooding safety kits, which included a life jacket, boots, a raincoat, and a headlamp. To compensate for electricity shortages caused by severe storms, BEDS is ramping up efforts to deliver renewable energy sources along the Sundarbans coast and has established three solar panel stations thus far. 
  • Association for Women’s Awareness and Rural Development (AWARD) is working to keep Pakistanis safe from future flooding events while also protecting against a second wave of the coronavirus. They distributed 150 food packages and masks to support families affected by COVID-19 and subsequent job losses. AWARD also conducted six disaster risk reduction awareness sessions in high-risk flood areas of the Muzaffargarh District to ensure that even the most remote communities were prepared for the 2020 monsoon season. 
  • Janaki Women Awareness Society (JWAS) in Nepal was preparing for summer storms in early March when the coronavirus lockdown stalled community surveys and construction of additional flood shelters. Despite the setback, the nonprofit partnered with local governments to provide food relief to some of the most marginalized communities in the province that were still recovering from the previous storm season.

These local nonprofit partners and many others are working around the clock to deliver life-saving rescue operations, relief materials, and medical attention to the people bearing the brunt of destruction caused by climate change. A huge thank you goes to GlobalGiving donors for their kind support in the face of this humanitarian crisis, and for standing with partners aiming to build a more resilient future as the floodwaters recede.

With gratitude,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo courtesy of AWARD Pakistan
Photo courtesy of AWARD Pakistan
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Photo courtesy of Friendship, Bangladesh
Photo courtesy of Friendship, Bangladesh

During the 2019 monsoon season from July to September, more than 25 million people were affected across Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar. This prolonged flooding took the lives of hundreds of residents, damaged homes and schools, and devastated the livelihoods of small farmers. GlobalGiving’s local nonprofit partners were often at the center of first response, providing immediate relief, such as food and medical attention in areas where government aid could not reach. 

Thanks to your generous support of the 2019 South Asia Flood Relief Fund, communities received the resources necessary to make the jump from immediate relief to long-term recovery, with the  goal of building resilience to future floods. Here are a few highlights from what these contributions helped to accomplish:

Immediate Relief

In Bangladesh, nonprofit partner Friendship used their extensive network of more than 400 emergency response volunteers to conduct search and rescue operations by boat. The organization helped 9,000 find safety in Friendship’s schools that were converted into shelters. They also installed 153 emergency health camps to deliver urgent medical care to flood survivors across Bangladesh. 

Multi-Dimensional Resource Center, Nepal responded at the grassroots level to the floods sweeping across Nepal this past summer through the delivery of food and safe drinking water. Once the flood waters had subsided, MRC Nepal supplied 30 families with new, clean-burning cooking stoves to help them prepare meals while their homes were under repair, focusing particularly on communities like rural farmers and Dalits, a marginalized minority in Nepal. 

Learning routines for thousands of students were also disrupted admist the chaos of the annual flooding that is increasing due to climate change. GlobalGiving’s education-focused partners such as Girl Determined in Myanmar and the Nepal Village Foundation responded to the needs of their students through direct support to families. 

Disaster Risk Reduction 

Near the Indus River, in the flood-prone Pakistani district of Muzaffargarh, the Association for Women’s Awareness and Rural Development is strengthening communities to be better prepared for the upcoming monsoon season. Through a series of disaster risk reduction trainings, local residents developed community emergency plans of action, with special focus on the protection of vulnerable groups and empowering women to take an active role in disaster response. 

Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS) has been implementing nature-based solutions to the yearly flooding in the Sundarbans coastal region. Through the restoration of mangrove forests, BEDS is working with local communities to lessen the destructive impacts of tropical storms and monsoons by preserving a natural barrier along the coast. This nonprofit also hosts disaster preparedness workshops for other NGOs and residents in their Cyclone Shelter and Training Center.

Despite the challenges these annual flood events present, local nonprofit leaders continue not only to build their emergency response capacities, but also to engage locals in disaster preparedness initiatives that have the potential to save hundreds of lives. 

Thank you for choosing to support a community-led approach to disaster relief and resilience. Your generosity enables the local organizations invested in their community’s long-term recovery to build a path towards a resilient future.

With gratitude,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team

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Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
EIN: 30-0108263

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About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.

We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.

They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.

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