Friday, December 8, 2023

UNHCR warns of evacuation in Horn of Africa due to rain

Among the greatest needs, the displaced need food, places to stay, kitchen utensils, blankets, drinking water, and hygiene services, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said.

Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia reported the main impacts as a result of continuous rains affecting the region after the longest and worst drought on record, affecting millions of people.

In Somalia alone, more than 795,000 displacements have been recorded among a population previously forced to flee conflict and drought.

“Houses were badly damaged or destroyed, and in some places people took shelter under trees on higher ground. There are also distressing reports of drowning,” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said from Geneva.

Local authorities estimate that in the Somali region of Ethiopia, the flood affected more than half a million people and left 20 dead.

Meanwhile, 40,000 families, including those seeking safety from the ongoing conflict in neighboring Somalia, have also fled.

At least 25,000 people in Dadaab refugee camps in northeastern Kenya have been injured, and many of them have sought refuge in schools in the complex or in nearby communities.

Some also welcomed the new evacuees into their homes, causing overcrowding.

“Flooded roads impede the movement of people, making it more difficult for vulnerable people to access services, including pregnant women’s access to hospitals,” said Spindler.

In some areas of southern Ethiopia, more than 65 percent of the land is under water, close to a thousand cattle have died, and another thousand hectares of crops have been washed away in Somalia.

Damage to agriculture and livestock increases the risk of worsening a dire food situation, the UNHCR spokesperson added.

In response, the Agency distributed aid to newly displaced families, including dignity kits for women and girls.

Households also received cash assistance to buy building materials to repair or strengthen shelters, and sandbags were provided to protect people from flooding.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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