UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) — The United Nations and humanitarian partners are aiding Chad in responding to the catastrophic flooding which has affected 340,000 people, killed 22 and caused extensive damage, a UN spokesman said on Friday.
The flooding in 11 of the country’s 23 provinces caused extensive damage to homes, infrastructure, agricultural lands and livestock. The floods also sent malaria rates skyrocketing and heightened fears of cholera outbreaks, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “We along with our humanitarian partners are supporting the government-led response to provide life-saving assistance, including food, health services, shelter and other essential supplies,” Dujarric said. “So far, we have reached around 30,000 in the East and N’Djamena. We are ramping up our efforts to reach more people.” The spokesman said the UN’s Chad team is calling for financial support from donors. The humanitarian needs before the floods were only 34 percent funded as of mid-August, with 171 million U.S. dollars received out of 510 million needed. Dujarric contrasted flooding in Chad with the worst drought in 40 years, or four failed rainy seasons in a row, in the greater Horn of Africa region.
The World Meteorological Organization said that parts of the region are bracing for a fifth consecutive failed rainy season, the spokesman said. “Clearly all this will worsen with the crisis which is impacting millions of men, women and children in the area.” The forecast for October to December shows high chances of drier than average conditions across most parts of the region, mainly in the drought-impacted areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, he said. Significantly below normal rainfall totals are expected through the end of the year.