Red Cross warns of potential food security crisis resulting from floods in Africa

    OTTAWA, Sept. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Extensive flooding has affected more than
one million people and left 650,000 homeless in over 18 countries in East,
Central and West Africa. Flooding and landslides have washed away houses, food
reserves and crops, and has contaminated clean water supplies.
    Canadian Red Cross is responding to the crisis by sending over $100,000
to assist emergency relief efforts in the hardest hit regions, including
Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Togo and Uganda. The Canadian International
Development Agency has donated over $139,000 to Red Cross to support relief
efforts in West Africa.
    "The flooding has left hundreds of thousands of people across Africa
urgently needing food and clean water," says Charlie Musoka, emergencies
response manager with the Canadian Red Cross. "With more rain predicted in the
coming weeks, a rapid response to this disaster is vital to help reduce the
risk of water-borne diseases and a possible food crisis."
    Massive damage to crops and the widespread destruction of grain supplies
by the floods have left many communities facing an uncertain future. With
harvest either already happening, or just a few months away, a second
emergency is looming as food shortages could become widespread.
    With support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies, local Red Cross Societies have mobilized hundreds of
volunteers and staff to distribute relief items including tarpaulins,
insecticide-treated bed nets, blankets, jerry cans, soap and kitchen utensils,
as well as tools to build and repair water and sanitation facilities.
    Canadians are urged to help ease the suffering from this humanitarian
crisis. Those wishing to support relief and recovery activities are encouraged
to contribute by donating, calling 1-800-418-1111 or
contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office. Cheques should be made
payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "Africa Floods" and mailed to the
Canadian Red Cross' National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa,
Ontario, K2P 2P2.

    The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and
185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve
the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada
and around the world.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews: Canadian Red Cross,
Public Affairs Line, (613) 740-1994

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