Benin: UN disaster team on the ground in response to devastating floods

Flood victims in Benin's economic hub Cotonou, in the neighbourhood of Senade

14 October 2010 – A United Nations disaster assessment team, known as UNDAC, has arrived in Benin, the hardest hit of the West and Central African countries affected by floods that have killed at least 377 people and disrupted the lives of 1.5 million others.

The first members of the team, comprising five specialists, arrived yesterday to assist in the response in the impoverished country, where 360,000 people are estimated to be have been affected, 43 people have died, and more than 90,000 have lost their homes.

Emergency support is being provided by the UN, the Government and local and international partners in the areas of shelter, health and food.

Other countries hit by the floods caused by torrential rains and exceptionally high water levels of the Niger and other rivers, include Nigeria with 300,000 affected victims and 118 deaths, Niger with some 227,000 victims, Chad with nearly 145,000, and Burkina Faso with over 105,000. Chad, northern Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria are facing a serious cholera epidemic.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos arrived in Niger today to meet with relief organizations and local authorities to review the flood situation and the wider issue of food shortages and rampant hunger.


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Some 1.5 million people hit by floods in West and Central Africa, UN reports

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