Natural disasters have brought Mozambique to its knees in the past few weeks. The day before yesterday cyclone Eline hit the province of Ihambane before forging a path north and causing serious flooding. On the afternoon of 23 February 2000, the government of Mozambique put out a request for aid to the international community. It asked for a total of 65 million US dollars (150 million guilders). Approximately 90 million guilders (38.5 US dollars) are needed for urgent repairs to infrastructure. Another 31 million guilders (13.5 US dollars) are needed for emergency aid. The rest is needed for structural, long-term reconstruction.
On Wednesday 23 February 2000 Minister Herfkens decided to release 1.5 million guilders' emergency aid to be channelled through UN agencies (including WFP, UNDP and UNICEF/WHO). The Netherlands had already released 330,000 guilders to fuel relief flights by the South African Air Force, and 100,000 guilders for the Mozambique Red Cross. The five million guilders released on 24 February will be spent on budget support to help the Mozambique government carry out urgent repair work on roads, railways and waterways. This brings the total to 6,930,000 guilders.