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Un Food Agency Provides Assistance

Un Food Agency Provides Assistance To Almost 120,000 Affected By Flooding In Ethiopia

With heavy rains still lashing Ethiopia, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP><"http://www.wfp.org/english/?ModuleID=137&Key=2222">WFP) is working with other humanitarian groups and the Government to help almost 120,000 people affected by devastating floods over the past month, and warns that the number of victims could rise over the next few weeks.

The disaster has already killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands of others as this East African nation experiences some of the heaviest and most intense floods on record during the June to September rainy season. Residents have been advised to evacuate where water levels are rising to critical levels at three dams in the west, south and north.

Together with other humanitarian partners, WFP has distributed tons of grain, vegetable oil, and other essentials to survivors throughout the country.

“The scale of this crisis is huge, the magnitude and impact remains to be seen,” said Abnezer Ngowi, WFP Acting Country Director in Ethiopia.

In eastern Ethiopia in Dire Dawa, where flash floods have killed 254 people, a joint UN, inter-agency and Government flash appeal for $5.82 million has been issued to cover a range of food and non-food items as well as provisions for infrastructure rehabilitation. With many people still missing, the national death toll may increase.

The Omo River has already burst its banks and flooded large swathes of land in the southwest, about 800 kilometres south of Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital. Officials are also very concerned about the Amhara region in the north, where flood waters from Lake Tana have apparently affected 20,000 people. About 10,000 of these are camped in temporary shelters.

And with more rains predicted in the next few weeks, WFP officials are warning that the crisis is not over as the Ethiopian government and military accelerate the evacuation of scores of people from flood-prone, low-lying areas.

Ends

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