WFP aid arrives for flood victims in Caprivi

Trucks carrying 127 mt of urgently needed food have arrived in northeastern Namibia's Caprivi region where thousands of people have had to flee their homes to escape the worst flooding in decades, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement on Wednesday.

"WFP's emergency assistance will contribute substantially to the efforts of the Namibian government in alleviating the desperate plight of those affected by the flooding in the Caprivi region," said Francisco Roque Castro, WFP Country Director for Namibia.

The food was dispatched from a WFP warehouse in southern Angola, following a request from the Namibian government to provide assistance to 12,000 people in 22 villages. The flooding occurred after a period of prolonged torrential rainfall in the Democratic Republic of Congo burst the banks of the Zambezi river downstream in the northeastern part of Namibia.

The floodwaters span more than 40 square kilometres, and have destroyed large tracts of farmland and drowned many cattle. This has further undermined the Caprivi's fragile food security situation and follows a long severe drought in the region.

The trucks carried enough supplies to last for three months, including maize, corn-soya blend, vegetable oil and salt. WFP's supplies will augment the emergency rations being distributed by the Namibian government.