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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 13 August 2021 - Sahel — Flooding, Fiji — COVID-19

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Sahel — Flooding
Turning to the Sahel, where heavy rains and floods in parts of the region in recent weeks have claimed dozens of lives in Chad and Niger, impacting more than 100,000 people. We, along with our humanitarian partners, are working with the Governments of Chad and Niger to help provide health services, food, shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation assistance. In Chad, for example, the World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed food to 2,600 households. Our colleagues tell us that the rain has destroyed homes in the two countries, which are already dealing with previous flooding, as well as conflict, food insecurity, malnutrition, and health challenges, and of course including the pandemic. The people of the Sahel region are caught in a vicious cycle of floods and droughts as a result of weather variability that is worsened by climate change. Two out of three people in the Sahel make their livings from agriculture and livestock, which are heavily impacted by natural disasters.

Fiji — COVID-19
A COVID-19 update to you from Fiji: our UN team in Fiji, led by the Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha, continues to support the response by working to ensure there are enough supplies and equipment for testing, treatment, communications and vaccines. Fiji has received more than 250,000 doses from COVAX, with more coming, as well as doses donated by other countries. More than half a million adults — or 90 per cent of the target population — have received their first dose, while more than 30 per cent are fully vaccinated. The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have been providing supplies, including oxygen concentrators, water and sanitation kits and masks.