World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Extends Emergency Food Airlift To Ethiopia

UN Extends Emergency Food Airlift To Hundreds Of Thousands Of Flood Victims In Ethiopia

New York, Nov 30 2006 11:00AM

The United Nations today extended its emergency airlift of food for flood victims in the Horn of Africa to Ethiopia, sending in helicopters with relief supplies for hundreds of thousands of people stranded by the surging waters that have cut off or severely restricted land contact.

“The situation in [Ethiopia’s] Somali region is absolutely critical, and thousands upon thousands of men, women and children need our most urgent help,” UN World Food Programme (WFP) Director in Ethiopia Mohamed Diab said. “Unless emergency relief supplies reach people very quickly, lives may be lost.

“The Government, UN agencies and humanitarian partners have worked around the clock to get supplies to those in need. “But many trucks laden with food and medicine were stranded in mud and have been unable to reach all communities. The fastest means of reaching some areas now is by helicopter.”

Last week WFP launched a regional air operation with fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to transport humanitarian workers and aid for more than 1 million people in Somalia and Kenya. Including Ethiopia, up to1.8 million people are estimated to be endangered by the worst regional flooding in years.

The two agency-chartered Mi-8 helicopters today left Gode, administrative capital of the Somali region of south-east Ethiopia, for Mustahil, one of the worst-affected areas that has been largely cut off since the flooding began more than a month ago. Some 65,000 people in Mustahil alone are estimated to need urgent aid. The helicopters will go to Kelafo and East Imi, two other hard-hit areas in the next few days.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will cover the cost of the operation with WFP taking the lead logistical role. The Government pre-positioned 530 tons of food in Gode for the airlift. To date, the Government has sent almost 2,000 tons to areas hit by the floods with trucks that managed to get through after many days of arduous travel on very treacherous roads.

The flooding has killed 80 people and destroyed roads, bridges and property across the region. Some 362,000 people have lost their livelihoods and 122,500 of them have been displaced.

Humanitarian agencies fear that malaria and water-borne diseases such as acute diarrhoea will spread through flood-affected areas, worsening an already difficult situation, and UN agencies and the Government have sent to Gode non-food items, including medical supplies, blankets, water purification sets, cooking pots, plastic sheeting and seeds, some of which will also be airlifted by the WFP helicopters.

Earlier this year, Ethiopia’s Somali region was hard hit by a drought that also struck Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti, leaving 8.2 million people in need of humanitarian aid. In Ethiopia, 1.6 million people were affected as their animals died, their watering holes dried up and malnutrition rates increased.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news