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

 



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...
More>>



Ukraine: UN Rights Office Probe Spotlights Harrowing Plight Of Civilians

Almost 76 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, countless civilians remain caught up in the horror and destruction of war, UN rights investigators said on Tuesday... More>>



Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>