Mozambique

Statement by Secretary of State to the House of Commons Concerning the Floods in Mozambique

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Over the last two weeks, the worst floods in over 50 years have hit Southern Mozambique. Cyclone Eline also caused substantial damage in the central provinces. Over the weekend, water deposited by Eline in Zimbabwe and South Africa has filtered through to Mozambique causing further massive flooding of the Limpopo and Save rivers.

Government of Mozambique estimate that over 500,000 people have been affected, with over 100,000 still awaiting rescue following the recent flood surge over the weekend. Regrettably further storms and possible flooding from the Caborra and Bassa Dam are likely to make the situation worse over the next few days.

The first phase of the relief operation, involving rescue and evacuation of people stranded by flood water is still ongoing. Coordination of rescue activities has been problematic. We are doing all we can to make available extra helicopters and boats.

As the flood water subsidies, the relief operation will move into a second phase. Priorities will be urgent repairs to essential infrastructure, shelter, food delivery and medical services.

DFID deployed two humanitarian specialists to the region during the initial stages of the flooding on the 11 February. They conducted rapid assessments and liased with the Mozambiquan authorities and humanitarian organisations to help plan the rescue operation. We despatched a consignment of over 400 tents from the UK to Maputo for the Red Cross to distribute for emergency shelter to those made homeless. We also supported the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team who are assisting the Mozambiquan authorities with the targeting and coordination of the relief efforts. Given the deteriorating situation over the weekend we are redeploying a humanitarian specialist to Mozambique. We are also strengthening the World Food Programme with the secondment of two logistics experts to assist with the effective tasking of helicopters.

DFID has already contributed nearly =A32.2 million for rescue and immediate relief including the provision of shelter, water, sanitation and health support. This funding has been channelled through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNICEF, World Food Programme, Red Cross, ActionAid, Oxfam, Save the Children Fund and World Vision. These activities are being coordinated with the Mozambiquan authorities. We stand ready to provide further assistance.

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