Mozambique

Mozambique - Secretary-General on field mission

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International Federation Secretary-general, Didier Cherpitel, ended an African tour with a two day visit to Mozambique last week. Seeing for the work of the Red Cross in a country devastated by floods, Mr Cherpitel praised the Mozambique Red Cross Society (MRCS) for its hard work and commitment. It responded quickly to the disaster by mobilising its volunteers and resources to assist victims where they could be reached.
"On behalf of all National Societies which have witnessed the dedicated action of the Mozambique Red Cross, I would say that we are very proud of you," said Mr Cherpitel to the staff at the Mozambique Red Cross.

With the support of the Federation, the Mozambique Red Cross has so far been able to help 100,000 people despite tremendous logistical constraints. And it was some of those people Mr Cherpitel, accompanied by his counterpart at the MRC, Fernanda Teixeira, visited at the Mogoanine accommodation centre on the outskirts of the capital, Maputo. More than 900 families have sought shelter there and the number is increasing daily. As well as helping distribute education materials at a school set up for the displaced children at the centre, Mr. Cherpitel assisted Red Cross volunteers in the chlorination of water supplies.

What impressed him the most, he said after the visit, was that "the people had managed to start their lives from scratch again, in a very short space of time." Many of the people at the centre have already begun planting crops to ensure food supplies for the future. Mr Cherpitel also paid tribute to the Red Cross volunteers whose achievements he said he deeply respected. "All the good work is paying off. People know that flood victims would have suffered a lot more without you and that's why the Red Cross has been the main channel for help and local donations," he said.

Mr Cherpitel also held brief talks with the Mozambiquan Prime Minister, Pascoal Mucumbi, during which both men agreed on the Mozambiquan Red Cross taking on a greater role in disaster preparedness and the coordination of relief.

=A91997 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies