Darbhanga, Bihar: Over 900 households in four villages in Bihar’s Darbhanga district were gutted in a massive fire on April 22, leaving over 4500 people homeless. In keeping with its mandate to provide assistance to people in distress, the international, medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has started distributing emergency relief kits to the affected familes.
The kits comprise shelter and hygiene material to address the most immediate needs. These include tarpaulin sheeting and building materials, as well as household items such as jerry cans, buckets, mosquito nets and soap. “This distribution of shelter kits and household items will help those families who have lost everything in the fire to rebuild and restart. We hope that our relief efforts will restore dignity to the affected,” said Dr Prince Mathew, Deputy Country Director, MSF India.
“MSF carried out an independent assessment shortly after the incident and has decided to respond to the needs of the affected population,” said Dr Ravinder Singh Rishi, Field Coordinator, MSF India, who is overseeing the distribution activity. MSF will assess further needs in the days to come, he added.
MSF had worked in Darbhanga treating severe acute malnutrition in children until last year and maintains emergency relief capacity to respond to any man-made or natural disasters. “We are in touch with the district administration and are coordinating our relief activities with them,” said Dr Rishi.
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Media Manager, MSF India
Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid in more than 65 countries. MSF has worked in India since 1999, and currently runs projects in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Telangana and West Bengal. MSF was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development in 1996 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.
MSF worked in Bihar’s Darbhanga district from 2009-2015 providing curative treatment to over 18000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).