· Between February 26 and March 4, Tropical Storm Irina brought intense rains and winds to areas of Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. According to preliminary reports, the storm caused an estimated 72 deaths and affected nearly 78,000 people in Madagascar and resulted in 12 deaths in Mozambique and South Africa.
· On March 4, the Government of Madagascar declared a state of emergency in flood-affected districts in the southeastern Vatovavy-Fitovinany and Atsimo-Atsinanana regions. According to the U.N., sufficient pre-positioned food assistance and emergency relief supplies exist to meet the humanitarian needs of displaced people; however, rehabilitation of the damaged main road in the area may take up to 10 days, potentially hindering access to affected populations during repairs. Humanitarian assessment teams, initially deployed to evaluate the impact of mid-February’s Tropical Cyclone Giovanna, have already begun gathering damage information from flood-affected areas.
· During the week of February 27, staff from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)—deployed in response to late January storms and floods in southern Africa—traveled to heavily affected Zambézia Province in northern Mozambique to assess the humanitarian situation and monitor the distribution of USAID/OFDA-provided emergency relief commodities. In the same week, additional deployed USAID/OFDA staff in the capitals of Maputo, Mozambique, and Antananarivo, Madagascar, met with humanitarian agencies and attended coordination meetings to discuss humanitarian conditions and emergency relief operations.
· To date, USAID/OFDA and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) have provided nearly $3.4 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the effects of recent floods and cyclones in southern Africa. Most recently, USAID/OFDA provided $335,000 to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) to augment the existing logistics capacity of the Government of Mozambique and relief agencies to conduct humanitarian activities in Mozambique. USAID/OFDA is also providing $1 million to the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions in Zambézia Province in efforts to reduce the transmission of waterborne illnesses.