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Algeria: Floods - Oct 2015

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Mid-October, heavy rains and flooding caused widespread damage to five camps providing shelter to some 90,000 of the most vulnerable Sahrawi refugees in south-west Algeria’s arid Tindouf region. UNHCR and partners begun to assist some 25,000 people (5,000 families) whose homes and food supplies were damaged or destroyed.(UNHCR, 23 Oct 2015)

The floods are likely worsening the threat posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war in the area of Western Sahara. Since the flood waters have not yet receded, it is impossible yet to quantify the damages or to assess the actual extent of the risk posed to civilians and their livelihoods by the mines and explosives remnants that have likely been displaced outside of already known marked areas.The emergency situation requires a rapid and efficient emergency response, such as providing mine action organisations with the resources and means to carry out risk assessment and to mark out mined areas once again. (ICBL, 2 Nov 2015)

By early December, it was estimated that USD 500,000 was urgently required to rehabilitate those critical health infrastructure, with a priority focus on Dakhla camp, the camp most affected by the flood emergency. Despite the resuming of emergency primary health care, diarrhea cases have been reported to be raising by health NGO partners across all flood affected camps. (UNICEF, 3 Dec 2015)

By mid-December, 11,500 families were affected, and 6,500 children had limited access to school. (UNICEF, 17 Dec 2015) An Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) was conducted by WFP in the refugee camps from 08-15 December to assess the impact of the recent floods on the food security situation of the refugee population. The EFSA report is expected in early February 2016. (WFP, 31 Dec 2015)

In January 2016 the IFRC increased its operation budget to assist 10,000 people (2,000 families). It estimates that 35,000 people have been affected by the floods, a number that could increase as this is just the middle of the rainy season. (IFRC, 28 Jan 2016)

Due to logistical problems the DREF operations was extended for 4 months. Due to the delay with the shelter items, a Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) will be redeployed to Tindouf at the beginning of May 2016 (instead of April) for one month, to support with the sensitization, preparation, receipt and set-up of shelter materials, as well as post-distribution monitoring for NFIs and beneficiary satisfaction survey. (IFRC, 8 Apr 2016)