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Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide is boosting its emergency response team in Sierra Leone where flash floods and mudslides have killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless.
Ireland’s largest international aid agency – which has worked in the West African nation since 1996 – already has 157 staff working as part of a coordinated effort in the capital Freetown with the authorities and other aid agencies.
With mortuaries overwhelmed, thousands left homeless and fear that diseases such as cholera and typhoid may spread, Concern is sending additional staff to help coordinate the relief efforts.
Speaking from flood damaged Freetown, Concern’s National Health Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Adèle Fox, said:
Bridges were destroyed, whole areas of housing were completely wiped away and many people buried within all of that mud.
Concern Worldwide is part of a consortium of aid agencies working together and with the government doing assessments and addressing immediate needs.
Adèle Fox said the immediate needs now and over the coming days in Freetown will include logistical support, hygiene items, tarpaulins for shelter, water – whether it’s trucked in or provided in bottles or sachets - and helping to clear the debris, waste and drainage from affected areas.
Members of the public can find out more about Concern’s work in Sierra Leone and how they can help by logging onto concern.net.
For more information or interview requests, please call Kevin Jenkinson at 086 358 2886 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.