UN agencies working to help flood victims in Benin

08:04, November 03, 2010      

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Several UN agencies are engaged in helping those affected by floods in Benin, where more than half a million people were impacted, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said here Tuesday.

Flooding began in the West African country in mid-September when heavy rains caused the Niger River in Benin's north to overflow. Rainfall continues across Benin. The flooding also destroyed more than 300,000 acres of crops and killed 81,000 livestock, the UN reported.

"The Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says UN aid agencies and partner organizations are providing essential humanitarian aid to people affected by floods in Benin over the last month, as rainfalls continue across the country, causing the Niger River in the north of Benin to rise, worsening the situation," Nesirky told reporters.

Seasonal rains that usually last in West Africa into November have been unusually heavy this year, causing high water levels and displacing Benin's people from their homes.

"At least 680,000 people have already been affected by the floods, with more than 200,000 in need of shelter," Nesirky said.

According to Nesirky, the World Food Program (WFP) has distributed food to around 2,400 individuals living with host families in the Zangnanado area of the country, which was heavily impacted by floods.

He also said that the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has provided water purification tablets and hygiene material for 150,000 people in Benin and that the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided health kits to treat 1,000 cases of cholera over three months.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:李牧(实习))

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