Madagascar + 1 more

Mozambique floods: Update 14 Mar 2000 (and Madagascar)

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As water-levels continue to recede after the worst flood in Mozambique's recorded history, WFP's emergency operation is entering its most critical stage.
MADGASCAR: NEWS FLASH

WFP has started airlifting 400 tons of food aid to flood affected areas on the eastern coast. Towns badly hit by cyclones Eline and Gloria, and in need of assistance, include Mahanoro, Antalaha, Vatomandry and Belo-Tsiribihina.

FOOD AID

In the short-term, WFP must provide food aid for some 365,000 people who lost their homes in the floods and are sheltering in 96 makeshift transit camps of all sizes, spread across the Limpopo and Save river valleys. The largest camp at Chiqualene holds 57,000 internally displaced persons.

WFP's 20 food aid monitors, already in Mozambique to oversee development projects prior to the floods, have been re-deployed and are co-ordinating distribution of emergency food rations.

RESURRECTING MOZAMBIQUE

When the rainy season ends in late March / early April, flood victims are expected to leave the camps and head back to their towns and villages. WFP food aid will be used to facilitate their return.

To help Mozambique kick-start its local economy, WFP will pay workers with food to resurrect their shattered communities. Projects will include the reconstruction of schools and shops, the rebuilding of railways and roads and, most importantly, the planting of new crops.

WFP aims to cover the long-term food needs of 650,000 people until a second harvest due in mid-August.

Updates from the Field

March 14, 2000

WFP has delivered more than 2,220 tons of food nationwide since the beginning of its emergency operation. The Agency has more than 7,000 tons of food stockpiled in Mozambique, enough to feed 365,000 for one month.

100,000 cooking utensils have arrived in Maputo for distribution in the 96 transit camps.

A British naval ship has anchored in the mouth of the Save River. Its five Sea King helicopters will ferry WFP relief items to reception centers along the Save basin.

WFP is still concerned with sanitation in transit camps ill-equipped to deal with the large numbers of flood victims. Before the current emergency, Chiqualene, in the Limpopo valley, was a small village with a population of 4,000. Now, it is home to 57,000 internally displaced persons.

ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

WFP is working hand in hand with local authorities to get food aid back on the road:

Convoys of trucks are now using the patched-up Beira-Save highway to shift food in the north. Further south, on March 13, heavy goods vehicles were scheduled to deliver 25 tons of food aid to Maputo province.

WFP is launching an international appeal to underwrite emergency road rehabilitation in the flooded areas adjacent to the Limpopo and Save rivers.

Over the coming months, WFP will pay workers with basic food supplies to fix more than 1,000 kilometers of secondary roads.

LOGISTICS

Helicopters and fixed wing aircraft: 59
Boats: 109 deployed throughout country
Total foreign aid workers: 2,400 (50 percent are military personnel)

WFP PRESS CONTACTS

Rome:
Trevor Rowe
Office +39 06 6513 2602
Mobile +39 348 6099463

Francis Mwanza
Office +39 06 65132623

Jeffrey Rowland
Office +39 06 6513 2971

Mozambique Maputo:
Abigail Spring
Mobile + 258 82 316 644 Lindsey Davies
Mobile +258 82 316 642

Mozambique Beira:
Inyene Uyoden
Office +258 3 326203 / 301314

Geneva:
Christiane Berthiaume
Office +41 79 285 7304

Madagascar:
Wagdi Othman
Office +261 20 2230 833 / 2278 589
Satellite +871 761 661 746

Copyright © 2000, World Food Programme. All rights reserved.