Over 120,000 displaced by flooding in southern Africa – UN

24 January 2008

The number of people displaced by recent flooding in southern Africa has nearly doubled in less than a week from 70,000 to more than 120,000, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

The number of people displaced by recent flooding in southern Africa has nearly doubled in less than a week from 70,000 to more than 120,000, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

Unusually early torrential rains in the Zambezi river basin led to widespread flooding in Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in recent weeks.

UN agencies and their partners are continuing to assist flood victims in the affected areas. In anticipation of this year’s rainy season, emergency supplies, including shelter and non-food items, had already been pre-positioned in several strategic locations in flood-prone areas.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is continuing to deliver food via helicopter to a resettlement centre in Mozambique that houses roughly 13,000 people. The agency has also provided Mozambican authorities with three boats to assist in rescue and evacuation operations and some people are stranded in areas that cannot be reached by road. Some parts of three provinces – Tete, Sofala and Manica – are now inaccessible by land.

This is the second time in a year that central Mozambique has been hit hard by floods. Since January last year, when the Zambezi valley was inundated, WFP has provided relief assistance to about 190,000 people.

Meanwhile, WFP is also providing food assistance to 7,000 affected families in Bolivia, where heavy rains since November have caused severe flooding and resulted in more than 20 deaths. The Government, which has declared a state of emergency, estimates that around 20,000 families have been affected in several areas of the country.

 

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Mozambique: UN food agency begins relief flights in wake of floods

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun relief flights to central Mozambique, where some 76,000 people have been affected by widespread flooding this month along the Zambezi River valley.