OCHA Natural Disaster Bulletin No. 8

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 Oct 2007
"The number of people threatened by natural disasters had increased by three times over the last 30 years and the number of people affected by natural disasters doubled every 10 years. Tens of millions of people had been affected this year by floods in countries all over the world. The link between the increase in disasters and climate change, which had been predicted by scientists, was unmistakable. Also, more people were now living in exposed areas. Some of the biggest cities in the world were built in disaster zones. Their poorest inhabitants were living in slums near those disaster zones and were, therefore, even more vulnerable. That could lead to mega disasters in mega cities"

-John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Floods in Africa hit around 2 million people

Some two million people have been affected by recent flooding in 22 countries in Africa, 650,000 have lost their homes, and 200 have been killed. These figures could increase in the weeks to come as the seasonal rains are expected to continue until the end of October. These floods coincide with the most critical time of the year, the lean season when West African families mostly in the Sahel region face food insecurity. The destruction of crop and food stocks has aggravated the vulnerability of poor families and needs to be addressed promptly through emergency and recovery interventions.

West Africa

West Africa is experiencing some of its worst floods in 35 years with over 800,000 affected in 15 countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Sierra Leone, Benin and Ghana).

The situation is especially worrisome in the following countries: Ghana (over 330,000 affected), Togo (over 120,000 affected), Burkina Faso (over 92,900 affected) and Mali (over 42,000 affected). The United Nations has allocated $4.9 million emergency humanitarian assistance to Mali ($1 million), Ghana ($2.5 million) and Togo ($1.4 million) in response to floods that have inundated these three countries since August.

The CERF allocations are meant to immediately improve the living conditions of 155,000 people in these three countries - 75,000 in Ghana, 60,000 in Togo and 20,000 in Mali. The funding will support projects developed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United DJERBA HOTEL ISIS ET SPA Fund (UNFPA), as well as their partners.

On 4 October, United Nations and partner organizations launched a $10million Flash Appeal for Ghana, and on 26 October a $6 million for Burkina Faso.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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