Mozambique

Mozambique: Humanitarian operation swings into action

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JOHANNESBURG, 10 February (IRIN) - A major international humanitarian relief operation has swung into action in Mozambique to bring relief to tens of thousands of people left homeless by devastating flood waters.
In a statement, the Mozambique government said that it estimated that it would need about US $15 million to fully rehabilitate flood-stricken areas. It said that US $2.7 million was needed for the initial emergency response.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is sending an assessment team to assist the Resident Coordinator and WFP in information gathering, reporting and appeal contribution management. UNESCO will monitor the communications requirements to improve information access to the affected populations.

The Belgian chapter of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF-B) has already provided doctors, medical supplies and water tanks to several sites in Maputo and Matola. Neighbouring South Africa, according to OCHA, has provided two cargo helicopters to help rescue people stranded by rising flood waters. South Africa is also providing various non-food items such as tents, blankets and kitchen utensils.

The United States embassy in Maputo said that it had given US $25,000 to help support flood relief efforts.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, announced on Tuesday a donation of US $100,000 to support flood victims. Bondevik was in Mozambique for talks with President Joaquim Chissano.

"UN agencies met on several occasions to coordinate UN action including assessments, information gathering, reporting and contributions," a WFP statement said on Thursday. "Staff from FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO have been identified to work on this emergency full-time. WHO will call a team from Harare to assist in health assessment. UNICEF is calling forward medical stocks from Copenhagen to address malaria and diarrhoea needs."

The flooding has also devastated other neighbouring countries. An IRIN Focus report on the situation can be viewed at:

http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN/sa/countrystories/other/20000208.htm

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