Mozambique + 2 more

Heavy rains continue to obstruct aid efforts in Mozambique: UN aid agencies

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The United Nations said today that its aid workers continued to battle heavy rains for the second straight day in Mozambique, where conditions in camps for flood victims, remained "grim".
A UN spokesman said that some of the roads were not able to support the weight of trucks delivering relief aid, but that a UN plane managed to fly 500 feet above the Limpopo River to look into reports of large numbers of people stranded. The team did not spot any such group, but reported that there had been major damage to agriculture. Houses, however, appeared intact, the team said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there was a huge concern for a rise in malaria in Mozambique, where even before the flooding one out of seven people had the disease in 1999. WHO also reported that the number of deaths from a cholera epidemic in that country has now topped 1,300.

In nearby Madagascar, the World Food Programme (WFP) has begun airlifting food to flood victims with two planes expected to deliver 400 tonnes today to the isolated town of Mahanoro, one of the worst hit areas. The food agency said that the biggest problem in Madagascar was reaching victims scattered in small groups in the jungles. WFP has also begun food assessments in Zambia and Botswana.

The Government of Madagascar has launched an emergency aid appeal for some $3.7 million targeting about 560,000 people. For Zimbabwe, the UN has launched an appeal for $3.2 million to help 96,000 of the hardest hit victims.