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Agencies Appeal for Aid to Help Benin's Flood Victims

Residents board canoes in a city street flooded by an overflowing drainage canal, in the Saint Martin neighborhood of Cotonou, Benin, 9 Oct 2010

Benin's gov and humanitarian agencies launched a joint Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan with the hope of raising more than $46 million

Recent flooding in Benin has left more than 100,000 people homeless.

Benin's government and humanitarian agencies have launched a joint Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan with the hope of raising more than $46 million to help the hundreds of thousands of people who have been affected by severe flooding in the West African country.

U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Benin spokesperson Stefania Trassari said more than 680,000 people have been affected by the floods. "We are very concerned about the situation in Benin, and humanitarian agencies are working today very, very hard in order to launch this important appeal, in order to mobilize the international community and seek the support of the international community to help the victims of the flood in Benin," Trassari states.

Trassari added that nearly every region of Benin was affected by the heavy September rains. "These floods have caused a lot of damages, particularly in the area of the north of the country, but also in the other departments in the south and in the center of the country," Trassari says, "Cotonou was actually flooded until two weeks ago, and many people have lost their homes. We counted an estimated 150,000 people who have lost their homes."

The funds raised by the appeal will be used to provide food assistance and agricultural support to 250,000 people, as well as health care and clean water access to 680,000 Beninois.

Before the floods, an estimated one-million people in Benin were already dealing with insecure food supplies, and more than one third of children under five were chronically malnourished.