Madagascar + 2 more

Britain boosts emergency aid to Mozambique

MAPUTO, 17 MARCH 2000. UK International Development Secretary Clare Short this week pledged further support for Mozambique in the wake of the devastating floods.

Speaking in Edinburgh on 11 March, the Secretary of State announced Britain would provide a further £12 million of emergency assistance in addition to £8million which has already been spent on relief, bringing the total emergency support to £20 million.

Earlier, the Secretary of State announced that funds from the UK's long term development programme in Mozambique - which totals over £70million for the next two years - would be refocused to help Mozambique's reconstruction. The UK is now the single largest donor to the international relief effort for Mozambique.

"The tragedy of Mozambique has moved the hearts of millions of people across Britain," said Ms Short.

"The terrible flooding of the last few weeks has done enormous damage and resulted in enormous human suffering. The UK has valuable expertise in responding effectively to natural disasters, and it is only right that we offer as much help as we can to help Mozambique to recover.

"Our assistance so far has been concentrated on the immediate rescue and relief operation, now we must concentrate on helping Mozambique to start to rebuild."

The latest UK contribution will be spent on medical supplies and vaccines, emergency food aid and repairs to devastated roads and bridges. The following details were announced today:

  • £2 million to help the Government of Mozambique to restart public services and local administration, through repairing public facilities and re-stocking health centres and schools.
  • £2 million for emergency repairs to roads and bridges.
  • £2 million to UNICEF for repair and re-stocking of health and education facilities, and water supply projects;
  • £2 million to the World Food Programme for emergency food aid ;
  • £2 million to promote recovery of rural livelihoods, through seeds and tools for restarting agriculture and help for small businesses;
  • £0.4 million to United Nations Development Programme, to help strengthen the Government of Mozambique's capacity to deal with future disasters, including improving early warning and search and rescue services.
  • £0.6 million to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for damage assessment and planning for reconstruction

Funds will also be given to help the local population find out where they can get help, with Radio Mozambique broadcasting special programmes.

Notes to Editors

For more information about the UK's response to the crisis in Mozambique, contact Nicola Savage, Press Officer, Department for International Development, Tel: +44 207 017 0821; or Andrew Bowes, Vice Consul, British High Commission, Maputo, Tel: +258 1 420 111.

Full details of the UK's response are detailed in the below.

Timeline of humanitarian response to Mozambique

February 11: DFID humanitarian assessment team joined DFID permanent team in Mozambique

February 11-16: DFID supported relief efforts with £1.1m through Red Cross, UNICEF, International federation of the Red Cross, UN, World Vision, Oxfam and ActionAid. These covered emergency needs including tents, sanitation facilities, clean drinking water, shelter and basic survival items.

DFID South Africa also supported UNICEF with funds for blankets.

February 26: £600,000 given to World Food Programme for four helicopters.

February 28: £500,000 given via Oxfam and Save the Children Fund to assist in immediate needs on the ground.

February 29: Five helicopters and crew chartered by DFID from within the region.

February 29: DFID committed £1.1 million to fund two large transporter aircraft carrying 69 inflatable boats, 39 self inflating rafts, 2 Land Rovers with satellite equipment, shelter material and sheeting and a UK team. This team of 30 included personnel form the International Rescue corps, UK Fire and rescue, RNLI and DFID. To leave within two days.

March 1: DFID chartered two helicopters from the Ukraine at £450,000. (later cancelled as enough helicopters already in region)

Four helicopters deployed from the UK with full crews and facilities funded by DFID at £1.15m.

March 2: Aircraft (Iluyshin 76) left UK with supplies, boats, helicopters and personnel.

March 3: DFID deployed British Navy helicopter carrier, RFA Fort George, carrying five Sea King helicopters and 1.5 million litres of aviation fuel critical for ongoing air operations. DFID will cover the £1.4 million cost expected.

March 7: DFID commissioned a 4 person Mobile Air Movements team to help with safety of loading, unloading and movement of aircraft at Maputo Airport, and a 4 person specialist communications team to ensure appropriate link up with RFA Fort George on arrival, from the MOD. Total cost for two teams £40,000

March 8: £1 million given to IFRC for regional assistance, of which at least £250,000 to go to Zimbabwe, to provide water, shelter and essential relief items as well as rebuilding homes damaged by floods.

£300,000 given to UNICEF to help provide safe water, sanitation and health services in Madagascar.

March 11: Clare Short announced increase in emergency assistance to £20 million in total. Further specific allocations include £2m to repair and restocking of administrative facilities; £2m for emergency repairs and rehabilitation of roads and bridges; £2m to UNICEF for repair and re-stocking of health and education facilities, and water supply projects; £2m to WFP for emergency food aid; up to £2m for various NGO projects focusing on rural livelihoods recovery (including provision of seeds and tools); £0.4m to UNDP for establishing analysis and planning support for complete damage assessments; and £0.6m to OCHA for continued humanitarian assessment and co-ordination services.

RFA Fort George arrived in Mozambique and became operational.

Full UK commitment of humanitarian assistance is currently £20 million

Note: In addition, Clare Short announced on March 5 that the £70m of long term development assistance already earmarked for Mozambique over the next two financial years would be re-focused to assist reconstruction and to develop sufficient capacity to spend available resources effectively.

Clare Short also announced on March 14 that £10m from this year's Mozambique programme will be directed to emergency budgetary assistance to mitigate the effects of the floods on the budget.

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