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Landslide disaster Switzerland to send CHF400,000 in aid to Sierra Leone

It's feared that the death toll will continue to rise in the capital city of Freetown, which counts some 1.2 million inhabitants.

(Keystone)

The Swiss foreign ministry announced Friday the provision of CHF400,000 ($415,714) in relief funds to Sierra Leone, which has recently been hit by major flooding and landslides.

Authorities in Sierra Leone have declared a state of emergency after floods and landslides ravaged several parts of the capital city of Freetown, covering many homes in mud. The disaster began Sunday night, following three days of torrential rain.

Swiss Humanitarian Aidexternal link decided to send the funds to support the activities of the International Federation of the Red Cross, as well as the Sierra Leone Red Cross, in providing relief aid and helping to fight the spread of disease in the West African country. 

Priorities include providing those in need with shelter and basic necessities, including hygiene kits and first aid kits, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said Friday in a statement. Because the chaos and loss of infrastructure are conducive to the spread of diseases such as cholera, the funds are also intended to support preventative measures in the areas of water, sanitation, and health.

It’s estimated that already more than 400 people have lost their lives, and some 600 have been reported missing, the Red Cross announced on Friday. Several thousand inhabitants have been left homeless. National authorities are currently coordinating first aid operations led by many national and international organisations.

 

swissinfo.ch and agencies/cl

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