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Kerala floods: Tharoor's suggestions to state govt on how to seek UN support

By Chennabasaveshwar
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    Geneva, Aug 22: Congress MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor held a high-level briefings at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva with held of organisations to identify avenues through which international organisations can support relief, rehabilitation and rebuilding operations in his home state Kerala.

    Also Read | Kerala Flood Relief: Shashi Tharoor is not our representative at UN, says CM Pinari Vijayan

    Congress MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor with Mr. Michael Møller, Under-Secretary-General and Director-General in Geneva. Courtesy: @ShashiTharoor

    Shashi Tharoor, Thiruvanathapuram MP, discussed with Mr. 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 Dr Peter Salama (Emergency Preparedness and Response) and Dr Soumya Swaminathan (Programmes) and Mr. Peter Maurer, President, the International Committee of the Red Cross on the ongoing humanitarian crisis of floods in Kerala.

    Also Read | Kerala: It has been a policy since Dec 2004 to refuse foreign aid during disasters

    Based on these conversations with UN diplomats Tharoor has arrived to the following conclusions:

    • 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;
    • Since the Government of India does not wish to request international assistance directly, it is entirely feasible to operationalize any and all of the above by negotiating with the UN system to have the UN offer what we need, on a no-objection basis from the GoI.

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