Widespread flooding in India, Myanmar and Bangladesh has left tens of thousands of people homeless and without access to clean water and food.
Heavy monsoon rains have caused flash flooding and landslides across the region, with entire villages swept away under strong water currents. Vital infrastructure has been destroyed including homes, roads and bridges, and thousands of people are evacuating to temporary shelters.
The rains are much heavier than expected at this time of year and places that are not usually affected have been inundated. Crops have been decimated, livestock drowned.
ActionAid fears that with the monsoon season just beginning, the crisis is only set to worsen with more heavy rain forecast in the coming weeks.
ActionAid spokeswoman, Sonya Ruparel said: “We are deeply concerned. People living in dry areas have been taken by surprise and are unprepared for flooding of this magnitude, with women and children most at risk.
“The situation in Myanmar is particularly worrying. Almost half of the country’s income is from agriculture. With heavy rains destroying huge swathes of crop fields, the flooding will devastate local economies and leave thousands of people without an income.
“Everything is desperately needed to help the immediate aid response: shelter, food, clean water, clothing and medicines. And in the long term, people who have lost their income will need help to ensure the economic impact of the agricultural destruction is eased.“
ActionAid is responding in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India by providing temporary shelters for displaced communities, distributing clean water and food, and providing items such as clothing and medicine; as well working with communities to develop alternative sources of livelihood and ensuring women remain protected during their time in refuge.