10 November 2012

Nigeria: Floodings - UN Raises U.S.$38 Million for Nigeria

As widespread flooding in Nigeria raised the risk of disease outbreaks and food shortages among more than 7.7 million affected people, the United Nations humanitarian arm at the weekend issued an urgent appeal for $38 million to respond to the crisis.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than two million people have been driven from their homes by rising waters of the Niger, the West African country's main river.

"The response plan targets 2.1 million people who are in need of assistance in a number of humanitarian sectors, such as water and sanitation, food shelter material, and non-food items, such as mosquito nets and kitchen sets," an OCHA spokesperson, Jens Laerke, said of the needs.

Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency had earlier said that the 2.1 million had been officially registered as internally displaced persons (IDPs), while the flooding had killed 363 people in the country since July.

Though seasonal rains typically cause flooding in Nigeria, they have been heavier than usual across West Africa and adjacent regions this year, according to media reports. The resulting flash flooding and overtopped rivers have inundated vast areas.

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