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Libyan flood death toll surpasses 6,000; 10,000 missing

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Death toll in the raging floods in Libya has reached more than 6,000 people, with another 10,000 reported missing, the International Organization for Migration (IMO) says in a situation report on Thursday.

The UN migration agency said most of the dead were swept out to the Mediterranean Sea or buried under rubble in the flooding that emanated as a result of torrential rain caused by tropical Storm Daniel which hit the eastern parts of the country on Tuesday.

The report, which was presented to the United Nations, said not less than 30,000 of the people had been displaced from the city of Derna which had been the worst hit in the incident while thousands more from other provinces including Benghazi had also been affected.

The agency further noted that apart from the destruction witnessed in the affected cities, surviving residents now faced humanitarian crisis including food shortages, lack of water and medical supplies.

In a separate report, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said the situation in Derna was very bad and that international support was needed.

The head of communications at the IFRC Middle East and North Africa office, Mey Al Sayegh, in a briefing on X, said that there was no clean drinking water in Derna and no medical supplies, and that the only hospital in the city could no longer take patients.

Al Sayegh added that what was needed now was water, shelter, medical aid, food and psychosocial support, as Libya had already faced challenges for years and needed funding.

“This is going to be a tragic situation for tens of thousands, not just in Derna, but also across Libya. The thing about this is that Libya, with its many problems, has been off the headlines for months, if not over a year now.

“Now it’s back in the spotlight, and it is important to stress that Libya has been left behind. The Libya crisis has been left behind. And now it’s time for donors to get back on track and fund this emergency”, she said.

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Metro

Zambia ranks 8th in Africa for highest food inflation

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Zambia has been ranked as the eighth African country with the highest food inflation as of May 2024, with a rate of 16.2 percent.

The ranking which was made by the World Bank in its latest Food Security Update report for June 2024, however, revealed that the country’s food inflation rate had decreased to 15.2 percent.

The World Bank’s Food Security Update placed Zambia behind Malawi and Nigeria, which jointly lead the continent with food inflation rates of 40.7 percent.

“Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (particularly its eastern provinces), Myanmar, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Yemen are also identified as hotspots of very high concern,” the report said.

“These regions face significant levels of acute food insecurity exacerbated by worsening factors such as conflict, displacement, and economic instability.

“Recent additions to the list include the Central African Republic, Lebanon, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Zambia, while Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Somalia, and Zimbabwe continue to face acute hunger,” the report highlighted.

According to the report, domestic food price inflation remains high, with data from the latest month between February and May 2024 showing high inflation in many low-and middle-income countries.

It added that Zambia’s inflation was higher than five percent in 59.1 percent of low-income countries, 63.0 percent of lower-middle-income countries, 36.0 percent of upper-middle-income countries and 10.9 percent of high-income countries.

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Nigerians thrown into mourning as 22 die, 150 injured in school building collapse

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Nigerians have been thrown into mourning following the death of 22 victims including young school children and their teachers after a classroom building collapsed on Friday in the city of Jos, Plateau State, in North-Central Nigeria.

The tragic incident, which occurred after a two-storey school building caved in at Saints Academy, a secondary school in the Busa-Buji neighbourhood of Jos North Local Government Area of the state, also injured over 150 people who were lucky to be rescued.

According to eyewitnesses, the building collapsed on around 8:30 am when many of the students and teachers were already in classes writing their end of term examinations.

The State Government, in a statement confirming the tragedy, confirmed 22 deaths and 150 injured persons from the Jos collapsed school building.

In the statement, Commissioner for Information, Mr. Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information, said six of the injured were in critical condition while those injured were receiving treatment in various tertiary health facilities in the state, just as the bodies of the deceased had been deposited in the mortuaries.

The State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, in a statewide broadcast, described the incident as a tragic and a monumental loss to the state.

The Governor, while sympathizing with the families of the affected victims, stated that the incident was heart-wrenching and unfortunate.

“This is tragic, unfortunate, heart-wrenching and a gloomy situation,” he said.

“We appreciate the timely intervention of the search and rescue team, as well as members of the public, who rushed to the school premises to assist in evacuating some of the surviving students and staff.

“I have directed the relevant government agencies, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and Plateau State Emergency Management Agency, to provide necessary support to survivors.

“Words cannot fully comfort the grieving families over their immense loss, so we pray that God will continue to console and uphold them during this difficult period,” Mutfwang said.

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