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UN: Floods in Niger Displace 200,000

A Nigerois boy looking at the Niger River near Zinder. Aid agency Oxfam warns of a 'double disaster' for millions of people in Niger where heavy rains and flooding are compounding food shortages caused by a prolonged drought, 17 Aug 2010

The United Nations is appealing for help for Niger, where it says floods have displaced nearly 200,000 people in recent weeks.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says shelter materials and blankets are urgently needed.

Food and mosquito netting are also in short supply.

The floods are compounding the misery in Niger, which was already experiencing a severe drought and food shortages before the rains hit.

The floods washed away the few crops and vegetable gardens that were starting to sprout.

A representative of the British-based charity Oxfam in Niger told VOA last week that people there are "extremely desperate."

Some information for this report provided by AFP.