Friday, May 15, 2009

UN Helps Flood Relief in Namibia

Here in Washington, DC, we've had an unreasonably rainy spring season. But that's nothing compared to the floods that have plagued the northern regions of Namibia - floods that have killed 100, displaced 55,000, and ruined wide swathes of farmland, as well as social facilities like schools and hospitals. 350,000 Namibians - that's around 17% of the entire population - have lost their livelihoods over the past few months.

Several United Nations agencies stepped in with $2.7 million worth of goods and relief work to support the humanitarian efforts that the Namibian government had already gotten underway. UNDP in particular contributed $1.3 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund. The worst affected areas have been evacuated, but as the rainfall is diminishing and the floods are receding, aid workers are already concentrating on preventing similar consequences in future years: UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representtive Simon Nhongo says, "Since the damage has already been done, the bigger task of recovery and rehabilitation is ahead of us and will run into millions of US dollars. To lessen the impact of the rains that will surely come next year, it is essential that we start to build back better now.”

For more information, click here.