Press Releases, 9/25/2009
Finland to provide humanitarian emergency assistance to flood-affected areas of West Africa
Press release 247/2009
24 September 2009
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen has granted EUR 400,000 of emergency assistance through the Finnish Red Cross for relief work in the flood-affected areas of West Africa.
The floods caused by torrential rain have caused substantial damage in western Africa. The flood waters have forced more than 600,000 people in 16 countries to flee, and 200 people have lost their lives. In the area, the flooding has hit Burkina Faso and Senegal the hardest.
The Finnish Red Cross will send to West Africa relief equipment needed in crisis situations, the distribution of which will be handled by the Red Cross of Burkina Faso with IFRC support. In the first stage, the planned assistance will cover the needs of 40,000 most vulnerable people for the next six months.
The aid granted by Finland is a response to a disaster appeal launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IFRC, for financial, material and operational assistance. In addition to causing immediate need for shelters, flood waters also cause health and hygiene problems, increasing the spreading of malaria, diarrhoea and cholera.
Additional information: Counsellor Timo Karmakallio, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 40 727 5487, Special Adviser to the Minister Ossi Martikainen, tel. +358 40 5926 769