About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 1.2 billion people live in India
22% of the people in India live below the official national poverty line
46% of children under the age of 3 are malnourished
(Sources: United Nations and The World Bank)
India’s economy has improved greatly in recent years, along with many human development indicators such as literacy rates, life expectancy and health conditions. A larger middle-class has emerged; however, deep and prevalent poverty has persisted. The country’s government reports that since the mid-1990s, the number of people living below the national poverty line has fallen by more than half, to 270 million in 2012. However, the official poverty line is set extremely low, at about 40 cents per day in the countryside and 50 cents per day in the cities.
India’s vast population size and its rapid growth mean that the percentages illustrating work remaining to be done translate to very large real numbers. In fact, while the percent of Indians living in poverty has fallen, fast population growth means that the absolute number of individuals living in poverty in some of the country’s poorest states has actually increased.
Poverty hits the country’s children hard, and malnutrition is common. In fact, one in every three malnourished children in the world lives in India.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic ReliefTM has been working in India since 1994, often collaborating with local relief organizations to ensure that assistance is delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible. Islamic Relief India opened in 2008 to implement development programs to help alleviate growing needs for humanitarian aid.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in India:
INDIA RURAL WATER SUPPLY & SANITATION PROJECT
More than 18,000 people in nine villages across the Khagarijan region will receive access to safe drinking water, and education on health, hygiene and sanitation practices. Latrine facilities along with 25 wells are being constructed to help reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases.
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
Islamic Relief was quick to respond to two emergency situations in India: in 2004, a tsunami in the Indian Ocean left thousands dead and caused billions of dollars in damage; in 2010, monsoons flooded the country, decimating communities and livelihoods. Islamic Relief supplied survivors with essentials, including clothing, utensils, food, emergency relief kits and roofing materials to help families rebuild.