Namibia: UN agencies appeal for $3 million for victims of torrential floods

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More than $2,700 000 dollars is urgently needed to support the government of Namibia in responding to the plight of up to 350,000 people hit by widespread floods, a United Nations spokesperson said Monday.

Around 17 percent of the southwest African country’s population has been left bereft of shelter, water and sanitation, health, food, protection and education in some degree, according to the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which has launched a Flash Appeal for the funding together with agencies of the Organization and their partners.

Since the beginning of 2009, torrential rains in the north-central and north-eastern regions of Namibia have swollen rivers to levels not recorded since 1963 and claimed an estimated 92 lives, OCHA said.

The Office adds that the cumulative effect of flooding in both 2008 and 2009 has increased the general vulnerability of the population, given that Namibia has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, estimated in 2008 at 15.8 per cent of the adult population.

Angola, Mozambique, most of Zambia, northern and southern Malawi, and northern Botswana have also been hit by deluges, OCHA said.