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EU gives 2 million euros to relieve Sudan floods


August 20, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — The European Union donated two million euros ($2.7 million) for flood relief efforts in Sudan on Monday as heavy rains turned Khartoum’s roads into rivers and brought traffic to a standstill in the capital.

Officials have described this year’s floods as the worst in living memory in Sudan with unexpectedly early rains destroying more than 70,000 houses and killing more than 70 people in just one month.

"ECHO (The European Commission’s humanitarian aid wing) has given two million euros to address the immediate impact of the month-long floods," The EU mission in Khartoum said in a statement on Monday.

Alvaro Ortega, an ECHO official in Sudan, told reporters: "Many have lost all their belongings and will need assistance to restart their lives and resume some economic activity.

"Cases of malaria, the number one killer in Africa and common in Sudan, are on the rise and expected to reach epidemic levels in flooded areas."

The Sudanese Red Crescent said last week only 30 percent of $4.5 million needed for flood relief had been received.

On Monday heavy rain pounded Khartoum, instantly flooding all the roads, drains and thousands more houses.

While other areas of Sudan are worse affected, a U.N. report said on Monday that floods in the war-torn western Darfur region had also hampered aid efforts.

"Bindisi was hit by flash floods up to two metres (six feet) high on the night between 12 and 13 July," the report said. Bindisi is in West Darfur state.

"Approximately 300 houses were completely destroyed, and more were seriously damaged."

The World Health Organisation reported last week that the floods had triggered an outbreak of cholera in eastern Sudan, with 763 cases reported and 53 people dead.


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