Mozambique

Mozambique: South Africa Military Begins Scaling Down Relief Operations

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (PANA) - The South African National Defence Force has begun scaling down the number of aircraft it operated in Mozambique due to stepped up international assistance utilising a large number of aircraft in rescue operations there, President Thabo Mbeki confirmed Tuesday.
The SA airforce has been using between seven and 12 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft around the clock over the past three weeks in some of the worst affected areas in Mozambique.

Two Oryx helicopters will return to South Africa Wednesday, but three Oryx and two smaller BK117 helicopters, are expected to remain in Maputo, he said.

Donations of about 3.5 million US dollars have been provided by a number of countries to sponsor the South African equipment and personnel until Tuesday.

Local and foreign businesses Monday responded to a plea from former president, Nelson Mandela, by handing him more than 2 million dollars worth of aid to assist flood victims in Mozambique.

The money will be given to the Mozambican embassy in Pretoria and channelled through the Graca Machel Foundation.

Meanwhile, in response to the growing solidarity with the victims of the floods, and as part of the co-ordinated regional flood relief effort, the South African government has established a Flood Relief Web Page which was launched Monday.

It includes information on the various ways in which individuals and organisations can help, either through financial donations, material aid or volunteering.

Various Online Media organisations have already offered their support for this initiative and GCIS will be approaching others to do so.

The Flood Relief Web Page address is http://www.gov.za/events/floodrelief/

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