Press Releases, 11/1/2007
Finland to provide assistance to flood-affected areas of Eastern and Northern Africa
Press release 226/2007
1 November 2007
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 700,000 of emergency assistance through the Finnish Red Cross to the areas of Eastern and Northern Africa affected by severe flooding. The emergency appeal launched by the UN amounts to EUR 60 million, in addition to which the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IFRC, have launched an appeal totalling EUR 12 million.
The floods are a result of unusually heavy and persistent rain. In Eastern Africa, the worst-hit countries include Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda. For instance, in Ethiopia the floods have impacted the lives of a total of 140,000 people and caused substantial devastation of crops. In Western Africa, 600,000 people in 13 countries are suffering from the impact of the floods.
The Finnish Red Cross will use the aid granted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for material acquisitions. In Ghana, the rising flood waters have forced 40,000 people to flee and many have lost their homes. The Finnish Red Cross will send 20,000 tarpaulins to Ghana for the purpose of building temporary shelters.
In Sudan, over half a million people are suffering from the floods, and the Finnish Red Cross has sent there 3,500 tarpaulins, 7,000 blankets and 10,000 mosquito nets as emergency air cargo. Water purification equipment has also been dispatched to Sudan, so that it is possible to purify drinking water for people from water stations destroyed by the floods. In addition, 7,000 water tanks were sent to Sudan for transporting and storing pure drinking water.
In Uganda, over 300,000 people are suffering from the floods. The country has been plagued by a long-lasting internal conflict, and thus the floods make the lives of refugees who have just returned to their home areas even more difficult. The Finnish Red Cross will provide almost 5,000 families with food preparation kits and 4,000 tarpaulins for building temporary shelters. In addition, the Finnish Red Cross provides support for a mobile health unit and two water purification units operating in the flooded areas of Uganda. One purification unit produces approximately 30,000 litres of safe drinking water a week.
Additional information: Counsellor Timo Karmakallio, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 1605 6342, and Thomas Slätis, Coordinator of International Assistance for the Finnish Red Cross, tel. +358 40 750 1960