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10.09.2009 - Artículo
Floods in West Africa – aid from Switzerland

Torrential rainfall has resulted in severe flooding in Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Ghana. Some 600,000 people are affected, and 159 deaths have been reported. Switzerland is active in a number of these West African countries. The following is a brief summary of the situation.

In recent years floods have been a regular occurrence in this region in the summer months. According to experts climate change is one of the main causes.

© Centre écologique Albert Schweizer
(CEAS) au Burkina

Thanks to established early warning mechanisms and reliable local networks, it was possible to obtain a rapid assessment of the impact of the disaster and of the corresponding requirements in terms of humanitarian aid. Many of those affected lost the roof over their heads and their possessions as well as access to both drinking water and food. The emergency aid that was immediately dispatched in accordance with a well coordinated plan will above all provide the victims with basic relief, i.e. accommodation, food, drinking water and medical supplies. Urgent measures have also been taken to prevent epidemics. The damage to key infrastructure including roads, bridges and hospitals, which have created obstacles for the emergency relief efforts, also needs to be urgently repaired.

Switzerland’s Humanitarian Aid (SHA) is providing well adopted relief aid for the flood victims. SDC Cooperation Offices in Burkina Faso and Niger have been active in these countries for many years and have well developed local networks. The measures taken to date are as follows:

  • In Burkina Faso, the Cooperation Office has provided aid for the homeless in collaboration with local partners and the authorities. In addition, a contribution of CHF 200,000 has been made to the World Food Programme (WFP) relief operation. The efforts of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are being supported by the Swiss Red Cross with funds provided by the Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA).
  • In Niger, a contribution of CHF 200,000 is being made available for emergency relief. The SDC Cooperation Office is currently deciding how best to use these funds.
  • In Senegal, the SHA is expected to provide additional funds for emergency relief via the Swiss Red Cross.
  • In the region as a whole, the SHA has helped to make a rapid assessment of the situation and the local requirements, working closely with the West Africa Regional Office of the WFP in Dakar. Since the beginning of the year, the WFP’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit has been assisted by two SHA experts and has also received a substantial financial contribution.

Apart from the present emergency, the SHA has provided humanitarian aid to the countries in this region in the course of 2009, notably in the form of food, approximately in the following amounts:

  • Niger: CHF 820,000
  • Mali: CHF 494,000
  • Burkina Faso: CHF 1,152,000
  • Benin: CHF 112,000
  • Senegal: CHF 509,000
  • Mauritania: CHF 509,000
  • Ghana: CHF 191,000
  • Sierra Leone: CHF 500,000
  • Regional: CHF 975,000

Informaciones complementarias y documentación

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  • Níger
    Níger es un país prioritario de la cooperación Suiza. La COSUDE está presente en este país saheliano...