UN chief ‘saddened by loss of life, destruction’ due to heavy rains in India and South East Asia

PTI, Jul 16, 2019, 11:13 AM IST

United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed sadness at the loss of life, displacement of people and destruction of property due to the heavy monsoon rains in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar and said the world body stands by to provide support if required.

Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq said on Monday according to UN’s humanitarian officials, heavy monsoon rains in India have displaced more than one million people and claimed at least 44 lives.

National disaster response teams are carrying out search-and-rescue operations and some 20,000 people are sheltered in dozens of relief camps.

In southeast Nepal, recent heavy rainfall has reportedly killed 67 people and displaced more than 16,500 households, Haq said, adding that search-and-rescue operations have been stepped up, and food, water and tarpaulins are the most-needed items.

“The United Nations offers its condolences to the Government and people of both Nepal and India and stands by to provide support if required,” Haq said.

A statement issued by the UN Spokesperson’s office said that the Secretary-General Guterres is “saddened by the loss of life, displacement of people and destruction of property due to the heavy monsoon rains and associated flooding across South and South-East Asia, most notably in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.”

Extending his condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims, to the Governments and people of the affected countries and wishes those injured a speedy recovery, Guterres said the United Nations stands ready to work with the authorities in the affected countries as they respond to the humanitarian needs resulting from this ongoing monsoon season.

Monsoon flooding has also affected Myanmar, where 21,000 people many of whom have been affected by the conflict there have been displaced in Kachin and Rakhine states. The UN and its partners are working closely with local and national organisations to help those in need, Haq added.

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