More international aid pledged for Sierra Leone

18 Aug 17

More emergency aid from the UK will be sent to Sierra Leone, international development secretary Priti Patel announced today.

The £5m package will provide clean water, food and medicines to assist communities worst affected by the devastating floods and mudslide in West African nation.

It comes after an announcement on Tuesday, which saw the UK government allocate $150,000 in emergency relief funding to Sierra Leone.

More than 400 people have died and an estimated 600 are missing, in addition an estimated 3,000 people are now homeless in the capital, Freetown, and surrounding communities.

The latest disaster follows the outbreak of the Ebola virus, which affected the region between 2014 and 2016 and claimed more than 11,000 lives.

Today’s funds which will go to support people in the country’s capital, Freetown, include:

·      Support for UNICEF to provide clean water and essential medicines for 5,000 people. UNICEF will also provide food, water and counselling for 1,500 children

·      A group of NGOs, led by Oxfam, to provide clean water and sanitation facilities for 3,000 people, vital to stopping the spread of deadly diseases such as cholera

·      UK charity Street Child to provide clothing and bedding for 3,000 children

·      Emergency funding to meet needs on the ground as they continue to evolve.

Patel said: “This tragedy comes shortly after the Ebola crisis which Sierra Leone has worked so hard to recover from.

"Britain was at the forefront in tackling that deadly disease and we remain shoulder to shoulder with Sierra Leone today after these devastating events.”

She added: “Our new support will provide basic life-saving supplies like food, water, shelter and clothing to people who have lost everything. The international community must follow our lead and step up to the plate.”

Yesterday the EU released an initial amount of €300,000 for the most vulnerable families affected by the deadly mudslide and floods.

The EU’s commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides said: “Our new emergency funding will help provide essential supplies such as water, sanitation hygiene, food assistance, basic shelter and protection. The EU is doing all it can to help.”

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