"Despite the limited access to affected areas, it is clear that the impact of the floods and cyclone has been devastating. Already illnesses such as malaria, diarrohea and scabies have noticeably increased. Homes, schools and medical facilities have been wrecked. Children are always the most vulnerable in an emergency situation such as this, and Mozambique is no exception. Our response to this emergency must ensure children's needs are prioritised."
Save the Children is concerned that the floods have had a considerable impact on the availability of food, and that this may lead to the first serious food shortages since the end of the war in 1992. Although Mozambique is a desperately poor country, with seven in ten people living on less than one dollar a day, the country has become an economic success in recent years, with obvious development since the end of the 16 year war. Roy Trivedy states:
"This disaster is even more tragic given that Mozambique has had the fastest growing economy in the world, and good management has meant that the country was becoming an economic success story since peace was secured. The international community must continue to respond swiftly and generously to the appeals of the Mozambican government, to ensure the emergency response is sustained, and long-term rebuilding is possible. We must not let this disaster compromise the progress that Mozambique has been making."
Save the Children will continue to work closely with Mozambican authorities and national and international agencies to help relieve the suffering of children and their families at this time of major crisis.
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Notes to editors:
Donations in support of Save the Children's response can be made by calling:020 7701 8916
Save the Children has worked in Mozambique since 1984. The agency's current long term development programme includes work on HIV/AIDS, improving basic services such as health and education, and in conjunction with the government and local NGO's building a commitment to children's rights.
Save the Children UK is the UK's leading international children's charity, working in over 70 countries world-wide to make a reality of every child's right to a happy, healthy, safe start in life.
Save the Children on the internet: www.savethechildren.org.uk