"Without helicopters, our teams will
be unable to access more than 15,000 people, who are still completely isolated
and without assistance in Magunde, Tronca, Massane, Gerome, Dondonga, Jambe."
Carrying out relief operations in the Sofala province in the centre of Mozambique, the international organisation Action Against Hunger is alarmed by the reduction of logistical assistance provided by the international community for rescue operations.
The departure of the entire helicopter fleet, scheduled for the end of March, has already become effective for more than half the fleet.
This announced withdrawal will hamper the work of humanitarian organisations and drastically reduce the possibility of rescuing thousands of Mozambicans who need emergency relief. Having survived for over a month without any assistance, thousands of people are still isolated in places that are extremely difficult to access.
The use of a helicopter is the only way to transport food and bring them assistance as the most isolated people are not accessible by road or river.
According to Action Against Hunger's recent exploratory mission in the Goonda area in the extreme north of the Chibabava district, near the Buzi river, the majority of the 20,000 inhabitants have not received any food assistance for over one month.
" To reach some of the villages we walked for three hours through mud and water that was above our knees. The people that I met had seen no one since the floods. They thought that they had been forgotten", said Kirsten Goacher, Action Against Hunger's food security officer.
Action Against Hunger's teams are doing their utmost to access these populations and mobilise helicopter logistical assistance to deliver aid. Thanks to their efforts, for the first time since the floods, 2,500 inhabitants in Goonda Madjaka, one of the most affected areas, are today receiving food assistance.
Launched yesterday by Action Against Hunger's teams, the food distribution should benefit 36,000 people in the Chibabava district.
The international community must continue its efforts and maintain all means of rescue as they are essential to reach the most isolated populations of Mozambique.