Since the end of January, the SDC has been in constant touch with its Co-ordination Office in Maputo on the subject of the flood disaster, partly for information purposes and partly in order to identify the possible lines of action for humanitarian relief and the Swiss Disaster-Relief Unit (SDRU).
On 15.2, three contributions totalling Sfr 500,000 were earmarked for emergency relief as follows:
- Sfr.100,000 to the UNICEF Water and Sanitation disaster aid programme
- Sfr.100,000 to the Ministry of Health's disaster aid programme (Action Plan)
- Sfr.300,000 to the UN World Food Programme's disaster aid operation (to help fund the helicopter operation).
On 29 February, it was likewise decided to grant a further one million Swiss francs to disaster relief as follows:
- Sfr.300,000 to the Ministry of Health's disaster aid programme (drugs to combat epidemics)
- Sfr.400,000 to the UNICEF disaster aid programme
- Sfr.300,000 to help with emergency measures by the drinking-water authorities for the immediate rehabilitation of small-scale water supplies.
On 1 March, the SDC decided to release the following additional sums:
- Sfr.200,000 to the UN World Food Programme's disaster aid operation (to help fund the helicopter operation)
- Sfr.200,000 to a private relief aid organisation to provide emergency aid for displaced persons.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC), at a Press conference, today announced that it was stepping up its disaster relief to the flood victims in Mozambique. The total amount of relief aid being provided by the Confederation has been increased to ten million Swiss francs. Five million of these will be devoted to providing survival and emergency relief. The other five million francs will be transferred from the long-term development co-operation programme to reconstruction. Specialists from the Swiss Disaster-Relief Unit (SDRU) are currently on their way to reinforce the SDC Co-ordination Office in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.
The people of Mozambique are urgently in need of external aid. In view of the deteriorating situation, the SDC has increased its contribution to ten million Swiss francs. Three million have been earmarked for urgent disaster relief and will be used to support various relief aid programmes being run by the UN and private relief agencies. In this way, two million have already been used since mid-February in rescuing people from the rising waters and providing them with survival relief such as food, blankets and drinking water canisters.
Another two million francs of humanitarian aid funds have been earmarked for reconstruction purposes. And a further five million will be transferred from the long-term development co-operation programme to reconstruction.
SDC Director, Ambassador Walter Fust, told the Press conference that Switzerland had been active from the very outset. Mozambique is a key country in Swiss development co-operation so Switzerland already had a co-ordination office in Maputo, the Mozambique capital, and this facilitated a rapid reaction.
Currently, four specialist from the Swiss Disaster-Relief Unit (SDRU) are on their way to reinforce the SDC Co-ordination office in Maputo. Two of these are epidemiologists as disease is already rife in Mozambique because of the situation.