Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Niger flooding displaces 200,000 people

The number of people left homeless from the Niger flooding is nearing 200,000. Rainfall was already bad in Niger during July and August, but now it is to the point where it is washing away much needed food. Health workers in Niger are already reporting a increase of people needing treatment for water-borne diseases.

From CNN, this wire story gives us more details about the other flooded area of the world.

Families left homeless in the remote Diffa region in southeast Niger and Agadez in the north have not received assistance yet. About 80,000 animals have died in Agadez flooding.

"We must find a way to quickly burn or bury their bodies to ensure water sources are not contaminated," Traore said.

The flooding has only compounded the food security crisis in the West African nations, where nearly 15.2 million suffered from hunger after failing harvests, the OCHA said, citing the government.

According to the international aid group Oxfam, Niger is the country worst-hit by the West Africa food crisis. Before the floods, half the population lived under threat of famine, the group says.

The World Food Programme is working to provide highly nutritious food rations to 670,000 children and their families, Bettina Luescher, a spokeswoman for the agency, said Monday.

"By the end of August, 5.5 million people will have received a full ration," she said.

Still, the agency is continuing to appeal to donors for funds to reach the $230 million needed for emergency operations.

The program has currently received 67 percent of that goal, Luescher said.

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