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Nigeria, Niger Receives Top UN Relief Official

A top United Nations official begins a four day visit to Nigeria and Niger on Wednesday to review relief efforts in flood ravaged Central and Western Africa.

Torrential rains have brought exceptionally high water levels in the Niger and other rivers, affecting nearly 1.5 million people and killing at least 377.

The floods have also spread a serious cholera epidemic in Nigeria and Niger, where Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos will meet with relief organizations.

Chad and Northern Cameroon also are dealing with serious cholera outbreaks.

The UN’s Children’s Fund UNICEF, and its partners are already assisting Chad, which is in the midst of one of its worst cholera outbreaks in a decade.

As of the beginning of October, Chad had tallied 2,600 cases of cholera and 112 deaths.

Benin has also been hard hit by the floods with 360,000 people affected and 42 deaths recorded.

The Benin government is seeking international aid after declaring the country a disaster area.

A UN disaster team is expected to head to Benin on Wednesday.