Over 15,000 people in urgent need of humanitarian aid in flood-hit Niger

Published on : Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More than 15,000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid in southeastern Niger after a surging river flooded local communities, the United Nations humanitarian agency says.


“Niger’s government is leading an emergency relief operation, with the support of UN agencies and other humanitarian partners,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky Tuesday quoted the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as saying. “More than 90 tonnes of food have already been distributed.”


The need for humanitarian aid became more urgent in southeastern Niger after the Komadougou River, which most of the year is practically dry, burst its banks and flooded nearby communities in mid-November.


The government had also identified sites to relocate the affected populations.


“Meanwhile, the flooding continues and at least 20 more villages are at risk,” said OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke, who added that the farmland is still submerged by water, triggering concern over the long-term food security situation.


Floods have affected transport systems and paralyzed local trade, an important source of income for people living along the border with Nigeria, Laerke said, noting that the flooding had significantly pushed up food prices, with the price of a 100 kg bag of flour going up by 30 per cent.

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