UN health agency joins relief efforts after deadly floods strike Mongolia

25 July 2009

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is helping Mongolian authorities respond to flash flooding that has killed at least 26 people, damaged infrastructure and raised the risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases.

WHO reported yesterday that it would provide funds to the Mongolian health ministry and helped coordinate the emergency response in the wake of the floods, considered among the worst to strike the sparsely populated, landlocked country in decades.

Eight children are among the people reported killed, while about 130 families have been left homeless and some 2,000 people have been evacuated from areas considered to be at risk of flooding.

The floods have been particularly severe in and around the capital, Ulaanbaatar, and provinces to the immediate west.

WHO said it is concerned that the overflow of sewage pits and lavatories following the floods could lead to major health problems, include outbreaks of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections. Response efforts will focus on ensuring safe water supplies and promoting personal hygiene.

 

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