Starbucks and Google Support Recovery in Kerala, India

Family receives flood relief in the south Indian state of Kerala. The Kerala floods caused more than $5.8 billion in property damage and killed more than 400 people. Photo: Ramakrishna Math.

Monsoon downpours that started Aug. 8, 2018 in India’s southwestern state of Kerala triggered massive flooding and landslides. Early reports estimated the flooding caused $3 billion in damage to Kerala, a tropical coastal area on India’s southern tip. In some villages, floodwaters nearly 10 feet high swamped homes. According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, at least 350 people died as the result of flooding and landslides from the near constant rain. Additionally, more than 800,000 people were displaced.

In response to the devastating flooding in Kerala, two funders demonstrated incredible generosity – both the Starbucks Foundation and Google mobilized quickly and donated considerable funds to overcome the overwhelming odds and meet the incredible needs that arose following the floods.

With their generous funding, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) was able to award four grants in the following manner.

First, we funded Oxfam America to secure disaster recovery and risk reduction efforts through livelihoods augmentation of female members of flood-affected families in Kerala. With $86,972 in support, Oxfam will be able to increase local, viable livelihoods activities led by women; 1,000 women will benefit from training, skills and support for livelihoods practices.

Oxfam America received a second CDP grant to build back WASH systems and structures to ensure survival and future development of affected families in three disaster-affected districts of Kerala. With $150,000, Oxfam will be able to increase good hygiene and reduce communicable diseases through the rehabilitation of WASH facilities and hygiene promotion.

A third grant was awarded to Plan International to implement an employment project for young people and women from the disadvantaged Dalit community. The $99,999 grant targets a small, very vulnerable and marginalized community that was disproportionately affected by the floods. Their program is implementing a Vocational Training for Entrepreneurship Promotion (VTEP) for 400 youth and women.

Lastly, funds went to support Habitat for Humanity International’s Housing Support Centers. The organization is providing flood-affected families with financial education and technical information to secure safe and durable housing. With $158,554 in grant funding, Habitat for Humanity International anticipates reaching 11,000 people.

We are so thankful to our grantees – Oxfam International, Plan International and Habitat for Humanity International for their dedication to flood recovery and sustained development. The programs they are implementing in the areas of livelihoods, WASH, education and training, and sustainable housing are critical to restoring the lives of those affected by the floods in Kerala, India.

And, our sincere thanks goes out to the Starbucks Foundation and to Google for their continued investment in disaster recovery. Disaster recovery does not occur easily; it takes the dedication, commitment and the generosity of funders like these. We are incredibly grateful for their support and know that our work together will help this region rebuild their way of life.

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