(Port Louis, 11 August 2020): An inter-agency United Nations (UN) team, including experts on oil spill response, legal support and coordination, has arrived today in Mauritius to support the Government-led response to the oil spill affecting the south-east coast of the country after the bulk carrier vessel, MW Wakashio, ran aground on the reef of Point d’Esny on 25 July.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Mauritius, Christine N Umutoni, said “the UN is joining hands with the Government, people of Mauritius and development partners in the spirit of solidarity at this time of crisis. This team of UN experts will assist the efforts already underway by the Government, affected communities, local organizations, the private sector and the UN system in Mauritius to support efforts to mitigate impact of oil spill on natural resources and on population.” The UN country team in Mauritius, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, are already working closely with the Government to support the immediate response from ongoing program, including technical support on environment impact assessment and community support by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), support from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Oceanographic Institute, information on public health support from the World Health Organization (WHO), mapping of populations at-risk by International Organization for Migration (IOM) and forensic investigation and legal support from UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The deployment of the team of experts has been facilitated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), IOM and UNODC, with flight arrangements undertaken by the World Food Programme (WFP).
This complements national government efforts, communities and volunteers work, private sector and all support from friendly countries.
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