27 August 2013

Sudan: UN, Partners Assisting Hundreds of Thousands Affected By Floods in Sudan

The United Nations and its partners in Sudan are providing emergency support hundreds of thousands of people that have been affected by flooding since the start of the month, the world body said today.

According to Government estimates, as many as 530,000 people have been affected by the floods triggered by heavy rains across the country, and at least 74,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed by the rapidly rising waters. The area surrounding the capital, Khartoum, has been hardest hit, with some 180,000 people affected.

Emergency water and sanitation, health items, food and other support is being provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as well as civil society and volunteer organizations, in coordination with Sudanese authorities.

Over 52,000 people have received household items, and water trucks being run by the Khartoum State Water Corporation and the Médecins Sans Frontières are reaching about 110,000 people each day, OCHA said in a news release.

While rains at this time of the year are common, they have been heavier than average this year, having a particularly serious impact in 16 out of the 18 states in the country.

The Sudanese health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) are also monitoring the situation closely as Government and aid officials have raised concerns that stagnating water in and around the city could lead to outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

In a news briefing, a UN spokesperson said six peacekeepers with the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) were swept away on Sunday by powerful currents while escorting World Food Programme (WFP) trucks to Masteri, west Darfur.

The incident occurred when the peacekeepers attempted to pull out their truck which was stuck in the mud of a river valley, near Nioro village approximately 30 kilometres southwest of El Geneina. A rescue team found two peacekeepers alive, while the search is ongoing to locate the other four, the spokesperson said, adding that WFP staff members are safe.

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