International disaster relief charity ShelterBox is distributing emergency shelter and school equipment to communities in Niger, West Africa, which are still reeling from the effects of recent, devastating floods.
With the help of Air France, 448 tents – enough for up to 4,500 people – are being delivered to the northern, Agadez region this week.
A further 50 disaster relief tents and classroom equipment for up to 200 children are being deployed with the assistance of the French military. Each of the four Classrooms in a Box will provide a teacher and 50 pupils with items such as pens, paper, chalk, blackboards and maths sets, enabling them to resume lessons after the devastation.
A specially-trained ShelterBox Response Team will be arriving in Niger shortly to distribute the aid.
Ranked 174th of 179 countries on the Human Development Index, Niger is faced with enormous suffering that was significantly worsened by some of the worst flooding to hit the region in decades last September. Flash flooding wreaked havoc among the poorest communities leaving an estimated 100,000 homeless. Agadez was one of the hardest-hit areas and difficult to deliver aid to, as recent conflicts have limited access for international aid.
At the time, ShelterBox worked side by side with the French government and military to send 15 tonnes of aid into Niger. Tremendous efforts by ShelterBox France secured a French military C-130 plane which flew the aid and response team into Niger.
John Leach, ShelterBox’s Head of Operations, said: ‘Many more families in Niger remain in need of urgent help and we are doing everything we can to ensure they get it.’