Mozambique Cyclone: Signs of recovery, but long road still ahead
Beira/Nairobi/Geneva, 14 April 2019 – One month after the worst disaster in Mozambique’s recent history, signs of recovery are beginning to emerge as people return home and as the deadly cholera outbreak appears to be starting to abate.
However, hundreds of thousands of people will need sustained support over the coming months if recovery is to take hold, says the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Florent Del Pinto, Head of Emergency Operations for IFRC in Beira, said:
“There is still a huge amount of work to do, but some of the immediate dangers are passing.
“New cholera cases are declining. This is thanks in part to the work of Red Cross volunteers and staff who have provided clean water and sanitation, as well as treatment and care. But we cannot afford to be complacent – this work has to continue.”
The disaster response operation, led by the Mozambique Red Cross with support from IFRC and other partners, has helped more than 38,000 survivors in the month since Cyclone Idai made landfall. Relief supplies have been distributed to some 19,000 people, 900 people have been treated at Red Cross field hospitals and clinics, and more than 250,000 litres of clean water have been produced and distributed.
“This work has been effective, and we are now starting to see the initial green shoots of recovery in central Mozambique,” said Titus Queiroz dos Santos, Mozambique Red Cross Director of Programmes. “The survivors of this disaster are still suffering, but many are already determined to go home and rebuild their lives and livelihoods. The Red Cross will be there to support them at every step of the journey.”
The Mozambique government has reported that the number of people still sheltering in relocation centres has dropped by half in recent days. The Mozambique Red Cross and partners are distributing relief supplies such as tarpaulins and shelter kits to people in need, and IFRC is deploying a dedicated team to plan a 24-month recovery programme focused on shelter, health, livelihoods and disaster risk reduction.
Some 1.85 million people were affected by Cyclone Idai, which the World Bank estimates has caused 2 billion US dollars of damage in the affected countries. The Mozambique Red Cross and IFRC Emergency Appeal seeks 31 million Swiss francs to support 200,000 people.