Floods in Thailand - October/November 2011

Funds allocated:
US$ 350 000

Affected population:
14 million

The emergency

In July 2011 Thailand was hit by cyclone Nok-Ten that caused high-level precipitation in the northern parts of the country. This, coupled with seasonal monsoon rain, caused a large amount of water to course through Thailand. This resulted in large-scale flooding that affected 80% of the country, including 65 provinces and 14 million people. Over 800 deaths were recorded due to the flood and a large number of people were displaced. It was one of the worst disasters to hit the country.

People wading through flooded streets in Bangkok
People wading through flooded streets in Bangkok

Funds allocated

In August 2011, the national health sector of Thailand requested for the release of the first tranche of SEARHEF amounting to 5.1 million THB (approximately US$ 170 000). A second tranche of 5.35 million THB approximately US$ 180 000 was requested in October 2011.

Boats in the streets ferrying people from one location to another to purchase food and get to dry locations.
Boats in the streets ferrying people from one location to another to purchase food and get to dry locations.

How it made a difference

Access was one of the main issues during the flood. Many families stayed behind in flooded homes making it difficult for basic services to reach the affected population. Drowning was one of the main causes for mortality as many people ventured into the water without proper equipment or life-saving gear. Access to and procurement of essential drugs was another issue faced by the government as some manufacturing units were flooded. The SEARHEF allowed the government to access funds quickly to address these issues.

Funds were used to procure life jackets. Thirty-five provinces were provided with 150 life jackets each. The provinces included not only those flooded but also those that sent medical teams to the flooded areas. Fifteen thousand sets of basic first aid kits were procured and delivered to affected families via the mobile health units. Boats were procured to allow access to health care services by the affected population. The boats were also used by mobile health units to access those living in flooded areas. The fund was used to procure essential drugs that were lacking due to manufacturers being flooded.

Outcome of prompt assistance from SEARHEF
Prompt provision of public health services such as disease surveillance, procurement of appropriate medicines and supplies supported the proper management of water-borne diseases. This support also contributed to better preparedness of health facilities for similar future events