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UN - $3 Million Flash Appeal For Floods In Guyana

UN Launches $3 Million Flash Appeal For Floods In Guyana

The United Nations today launched a $3 million flash appeal to meet the immediate needs of over 300,000 Guyanese – nearly half the South American country’s total population – affected by recent floods, including provision of safe water, adequate sanitation and healthy food and re-establishing health services and education.

“This emergency may have gone unnoticed outside Guyana in the aftermath of the tsunami,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland said, referring to the disaster that killed more that 200,000 people, injured over half a million more and left up to 5 million others in need of basic services in a dozen Indian Ocean nations in December.

“But for those struck, the effects of the floods have been no less devastating than on the Indian-ocean beaches. Having witnessed the impressive generosity of donors for survivors of the tsunami, I hope that they contribute rapidly and fully to this appeal,” Mr. Egeland added.

Drainage of the floodwaters has been extremely slow and even now, between 80,000 and 90,000 people still have water in and around their homes three weeks after the disaster struck. Many areas remain accessible only by boat and the water level is reportedly still as high as 1.2 to1.5 metres in some villages, while rivers have swollen alarmingly.

The risk of disease remains a major threat and poor sanitation, waste management and insect proliferation have rendered the waters highly infectious.

Beyond meeting immediate needs, especially of vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating women, children and the elderly, the appeal will help kick-start rehabilitation by providing small farming communities with production inputs such as seeds, veterinarian services and equipment to rebuild their livelihoods and contribute to agricultural recovery.

“Since the onset of the emergency, UN agencies on the ground have been working closely with the Government and other partners to provide emergency relief,” UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana Youssef Mahmoud said. “We need to keep supporting the affected population so they can get back on their feet, and actively participate in rebuilding their livelihoods as soon as possible.”

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