By: Mark Leon Goldberg on October 20, 2010 Welcome to the next big humanitarian crisis. Around 76,000 square kilometers, an area bigger than Ireland, has been affected by severe flooding, which has also hit Chad, northern Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, affecting 1.5 million people in the region, it said on Tuesday. In Benin, the country hardest hit by the floods, 100,000 people have been left homeless, 55,000 houses have been flooded and at least 43 people have died, the UN agency said. This region just cannot catch a break. Since June, flooding in West/Central Africa has affected over 1.7 million people, in some cases decimated agricultural output, and is compounding food shortages caused by a prolonged drought. The UN released $8 million through the Central Emergency Response Fund, but once humanitarian agencies on the ground report back it is likely that needs will far exceed that figure. Benin will soon be in competition with Pakistan, Haiti, and sixteen other humanitarian crises this year for precious disaster relief funding.