Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UN appeals for $18 million to assist flood victims

AllAfrica.com, via UN News: United Nations aid agencies and their humanitarian partners launched an appeal today for more than $18 million to help the victims of deadly floods in Burkina Faso, one of the countries hit hardest this year by the annual wet season in West Africa.

Nearly 160 people have died across West Africa as a result of heavy rains since June, and an estimated 600,000 people across five countries – Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone – have lost their homes or been otherwise affected by the floods.

In Burkina Faso alone, as many as 150,000 people will need assistance for the next six months, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today as it launched the ‘flash appeal’ for $18.4 million.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said he hoped donors would respond quickly to assist survivors of the floods, “which have hit many people who were desperately poor to begin with. As the longer-term economic impact is also bound to be serious, assistance now will be crucial for the recovery effort that must follow.”

Much of Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, has been inundated by flood waters since torrential rains fell at the start of the month. A key hospital has been badly damaged, and other infrastructure – including roads, bridges and schools – has been destroyed.

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