CAFOD criticises feeble response to floods

CAFOD, the Catholic aid agency, has criticised the international response to the Mozambique floods as "feeble" and called for more resources to be sent in urgently to prevent an even greater disaster.
Beverley Jones, Head of CAFOD's Africa section, said:

"The need for military and logistical support far outstrips the capacity of aid agencies. There is a desperate need for a massive co-ordinated response from governments in Africa and throughout the world. Sadly, the international effort so far has been feeble. People are stranded on rooftops and clinging to trees while flood waters threaten to engulf them, yet still the world seems to have found only a handful of helicopters.

"At a time when world leaders talk about universal humanitarian values, we must show that we are prepared to mobilise military resources to save lives as well as to fight wars."

Nearly one million people have been affected by the floods in Mozambique, and floodwaters continue to rise. CAFOD praised the British government for its generous and rapid response and called on other governments to follow this example. Beverley Jones says: "Many of the helicopters we have seen rescuing people are funded by the UK government. We hope that other countries will now respond with the same urgency to make sure that no more lives are lost."

CAFOD is one of eleven agencies that will launch a joint fundraising appeal tomorrow under the Disasters Emergency Committee.

For further information, please call Fiona Fox on 0171 733 7900 (work) or 0181 881 4272 (home).