Shashi Tharoor held ‘high-level talks’ with UN officials in Geneva on Kerala floods

Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi, Aug 22: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor held high-level briefings at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva to identify avenues through which international organisations could support the relief, rehabilitation and rebuilding operations in flood-hit Kerala. 

Thiruvananthapuram MP had gone to Geneva on Monday to pay condolences to the family of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

During his visit, he also held talks with UN officials Michael Møller, Under-Secretary-General and Director-General, UNOG (UN Offices in Geneva) and with Deputy Director and Chief of Emergency Programmes of OCHA, Deputy Directors General, Peter Salama (Emergency Preparedness and Response), Soumya Swaminathan, (Programmes).

Meanwhile, the Congress leader called on Peter Maurer, President, the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Tharoor in a Facebook post wrote “conclusions and recommendations” on the basis of meetings.

  • State Govt could examine whether it requires a Multi-sector needs assessment by UN agencies (WHO, UNICEF, OCHA);
  • Depending on whether the quantum of long-term reconstruction assistance from the Central Govt is adequate, the State Govt could give thought to holding an international reconstruction conference to `Rebuild Kerala better` in partnership with the UN system so that significant international assistance in reconstruction can be facilitated;
  • State Govt could request for the 2 million WHO stock of anti-cholera vaccines to minimise the risk of grave water-borne diseases;
  • State Govt could accept ICRC/Gujarat Forensics University support as appropriate

The South Indian state witnessed the deadliest flood in close to a century, which claimed more than 350 lives since August 8.

For the first time in many days, the sun shone brightly over Kerala on Tuesday even as hundreds of thousands remained in relief camps while several who returned home broke down after witnessing the enormity of the destruction due to the calamity.


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