AFRICA/NIGER - Nearly 200,000 refugees following severe flooding

Monday, 30 August 2010

Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - Further heavy rains in Niger have caused the number of people displaced by flooding to soar from 111,000 last week to 198,740 this week, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). There is urgent need for shelter materials, blankets, and mosquito nets. Reaching rural areas is the toughest. Flood-displaced families in the Diffa region in the southeast, and Agadez in the north, have received no assistance to date. In Agadez some 80,000 animals, already weakened by the ongoing nutrition and food security crisis, have died in the floods. The flooding has aggravated a countrywide food security crisis, in which nearly half of Niger's 15.2 million people are experiencing hunger after the harvests failed. The government is sending 400 tons of food to people displaced by floodwater, however the flooding could worsen. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 30/8/2010)