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Gates Foundation gives grants for Andhra cyclone relief



New Delhi: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, known for its philanthropic initiatives in developing countries, Wednesday granted $500,000 to an NGO for addressing the most pressing needs resulting from the cyclone Hudhud in Andhra Pradesh.

The total damage costs are estimated to be between $9.7 and 11 billion, proving it to be the most costly cyclone ever to have hit India, said a release issued by the Gates Foundation.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Ajfk-airportffairs, the tropical cyclone Hudhud affected at least 920,000 people.

Potable drinking water, toilets, shelter and lights are emerging as the primary needs of those affected, the release said.

CARE, a non-governmental organization (NGO), would channelise the grant to procure and distribute non-food items to 1,100 households.

In addition, the NGO will conduct a detailed assessment of shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene needs in the three worst affected districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam, and then provide support accordingly.

“While a long-term response to this devastating natural disaster is developed, it is imperative that we respond to the immediate humanitarian needs of the affected communities in Andhra Pradesh.”

“We are targeting our efforts at the most vulnerable, in partnership with local NGOs and in close consultation with government authorities and the communities themselves,” said Chris Toews, Acting Emergency Response Director at CARE.


Rahul Gandhi: Accepting Less Than Scrapping Farm Laws Will Be Deceit To Farmers



The Congress has stepped up the demand of immediately scrapping the farm laws in the wake of the farmers’ protest in the national capital. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet,”Accepting less than scrapping of three black farm laws will be deceit to farmers and the country.”

The Congress leader’s reaction comes even as the meeting between the farmers and the government is going on to resolve the issue.

Talks between the Centre and over 34 farmer union representatives has started here, even as the farmers protest entered the eighth straight day with thousands sitting on different Delhi borders blocking essential supply chains to the city.

Like the previous round of talks held on December 1, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal are leading the meeting, which is expected to play a major role in farmers’ future course of action on whether they would continue the protest or withdraw it.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Sanyukta Morcha and Krantikari Kisan Union are among over the 34 farm union representatives taking part in the meeting, which started around 12.30 p.m.

The fourth round of meetings with the farmer leaders started at Vigyan Bhawan after the earlier talks remained inconclusive on December 1.

In the last meeting, the farmers’ representatives had unanimously rejected the Centre’s proposal of a special committee to resolve concerns over the farm laws.

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