Friday, 8 April 2011

Namibia floods, Niger's new government

Namibia flooding: 30 000 people have now been displaced by flooding in Namibia. The country has declared a state of emergency for the second time in three years due to flooding. The current death toll is 62. Longer-term consequences are expected to be severe: sorghum crops have been wiped out and livestock killed, many schools have been damaged, clinics are cut off and some have been washed out. The flooding is also expected to lead to an spike in malaria. The economy of the country will obviously be affected. National food security is a concern - the wetter north is a crucial area for food production in the largely semi-desert and desert country - although the country has good food reserves (WFP). FAO GIEWS anticipates some food difficulties in the North.

Niger: New president Issoufou has appointed a Prime Minister from the North of the country, a move seen by some as showing that he takes the concerns of the country's impoverished, often hungry north seriously. This move takes the country one step further towards the complete restoration of civilian rule and, perhaps, the development of the country in such a way that permanent measures can be put in place to deal with the severe food insecurity of the country. (h/t Sahel blog)

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