UN grants more than 8 million to help in relief effort after

20 August 2007The United Nations today allocated $8.7 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help the ongoing humanitarian relief efforts in Sudan, where more than 1.5 million people may soon need assistance in the wake of devastating floods. The United Nations today allocated $8.7 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help the ongoing humanitarian relief efforts in Sudan, where more than 1.5 million people may soon need assistance in the wake of devastating floods. Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes announced that he had approved the grant, which will be allocated among 11 relief projects across Sudan, where torrential rainfall has destroyed or seriously damaged more than 30,000 homes and inundated towns, villages and farmlands. At least 150,000 people are now homeless from the floods, and UN agencies have so far supplied aid to over 500,000 people. The east and centre of the country have been hardest hit, especially the states of Gedaref, Kassala, Khartoum, Northern Kordofan, Unity and Upper Nile. But Sudanese authorities have forecast more heavy rains until the end of the annual wet season next month, and Mr. Holmes – who is also Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs – said as many 1.5 million people could end up being affected by floods. “Thanks to these funds, we will be able to assist over one and a half million current and potential flood victims, until or beyond the end of the rainy season,” he said.On Friday UN humanitarian agencies said they would soon launch an appeal with their partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for more than $10 million to help with the flood relief effort, including providing food aid and ensuring there is safe drinking water. The UN has now allocated about $13.5 million to the response to the Sudanese floods, including an earlier grant of $4.8 million from its locally-managed Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF). The Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan said in a media statement that the CERF funding will be allocated to projects managed by five UN agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). About $4.5 million will be dedicated to providing drugs, health care and support to epidemic surveillance to try to prevent any major disease outbreaks, while $2 million will be spent on ensuring that more than one million people receive clean water or water purification products. Some $1.5 million will be used to provide emergency shelter and non-food items to families who have lost their homes or essential goods, while $700,000 will be given out in food aid and livestock or crop survival programmes. read more