Mozambique Government launches an international appeal

Maputo, Moçambique . P.O. Box 377, Zimbabwe nº. 1230
Tel (258-1) 492732 - 491991 / Fax (258-1) 491990

The government of Mozambique have launched on February 23, in Maputo, an International Appeal for Emergency Relief and Initial Rehabilitation in collaboration with the United Nations Agencies to solicit USD 65 million for emergency relief and initial rehabilitation in the regions most affected by severe flooding in Mozambique.

The appeal was launched by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, Dr. Leonardo Simão, in a cerimony co-chaired by the Under - Secretary General and Special Advisor for Africa, Ambassador Ebrahim Gambari, and the UN Resident Co-ordinator, Mr. Emanuel De Casterlé.

Out of USD 65 million total requirement presented, the UN are appealing for 13,631,885, to assist 300,000 beneficiaries directly affected by flooding, having lost either their houses or livelihoods.

The worst floods in 50 years have resulted already in at least 70 deaths, while thousands were left homeless, more than 100,000 hectares of food crops were affected and in some provinces 30 per cent of livestock was lost.

The UN agencies targeting the affected population namely UNDP, WFP, UNICEF, WHO, FAO, UNESCO and UNFPA aim to provide assistance in the following sectors : food, shelter, health, water and sanitation, education, communications and co-ordination.

According to press release from the Government of Mozambique "it should be noted that a number of contributions have already been made towards this emergency, as reported by UN agencies".

On 10 February 2000, the government of Mozambique launched a provisional appeal for emergency humanitarian assistance following severe flooding, which initially affected mainly Maputo and Matola cities. Since then Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala and Manica Provinces, have also been affected leading to a drastic increase in needs for emergency rescue and relief assistance.

The health sector objectives are: to increase capacity of the health system and the communities to respond to the emergency ; 2) to prevent and treat waterborne diseases such as cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases; 3) to treat Malaria cases and prevent Malaria outbreaks among flood victims in a timely manner; 4) to treat acute respiratory diseases in floods victims: 5) to prevent epidemics of vaccine preventable diseases, such as meningitis and measles; 6) to prevent and treat malnutrition among young children; 7) to respond to women special health needs, especially in reproductive health.

Field assessments, through national and international efforts, quickly stabilised the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to the disaster on the part of the government of Mozambique. As a result it was decided that this appeal for emergency relief and initial rehabilitation would be prepared through a collaborative effort between the Government and the United Nations agencies and other international partners.

Dr Carlos Tiny told IRIN, Integrated Regional Information Network, based in South Africa that "The overcrowded conditions under which the displaced people now live pose a danger of an outbreak of epidemics". He added that "malaria could pose a bigger health problem for the flood victims".

Dr. Tiny added, however, that the Mozambican government is aware of the health threats and measures were being taken to prevent the outbreaks. These included the installation of sanitary conditions and water treatment facilities in the camps.

At the same time the Cyclone Eline which hit the island of Madagascar at the weekend claiming several lives and lefting thousands homeless, has also affected drastically the Provinces of Inhambane, Gaza, Sofala and Manica, where, equally several lives were lost and thousands were left homeless.

The World Food Program (WFP) in Maputo announced on Monday that as of last Thursday half of the 1,000 mt of food aid that had been planned had already been delivered. WFP said that it had stockpiled food, medicine and tents at Palmeira, about 90 km north of Maputo, in anticipation of more rain. Mozambican officials said at the weekend that up to 70,000 hectares of crops have been lost because of the floods.