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WFP needs to urgently feed 50,000 of Benin flood victims

by Staff Writers
Cotonou (AFP) Nov 9, 2010
The World Food Programme (WFP) is seeking to deliver emergency food aid to tens of thousands of victims of the heaviest floods to hit the African country of Benin in 100 years, it said Tuesday.

The floods have affected more than 680,000 people in more than three-quarters of Benin's municipalities.

The WFP plan aims to help all the affected but there is a group of around 50,000 in urgent need of food, it said.

"The first food distributions are targeted at around 50,000 flood victims, and WFP is drawing up plans to help hundreds of thousands more people over the coming months," it said in a statement.

The floods have destroyed some 12,000 tons of food stocks and left 128,000 hectares of farmland under water.

Benin's WFP chief Moumini Ouedraogo said the floods have "dramatically" affected people across the entire country, which is wedged between Nigeria and Togo, and borders Niger and Burkina Faso -- all of which have also been badly hit by the floods.

"Food assistance is urgently needed for those who have lost everything and are now trying to rebuild their lives," said Ouedrago.

The United Nations last week launched an international appeal for 46.8 million dollars in emergency funding to help the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the floods.

More than 105,000 people have lost their homes and are living in makeshift roadside tents.

Many west African countries have experienced heavier than usual rainfall over the past several months.

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