UN concerned about heavy rains in Mozambique

Highlights of the Noon Briefing
By Fred Eckhard
Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations
UN Headquarters, New York
Ross Mountain, the Secretary-General's Special Humanitarian Envoy to Mozambique, said that heavy rains in the flood-stricken country have hampered aid efforts today. He said helicopters and planes are waiting for the rains to ease so that aid operations can be resumed.

He also said a plane was scheduled to depart early Friday morning to look into unconfirmed reports that thousands may be stranded along the Limpopo River in southern Mozambique.

It was the second straight day of rains, and the weather forecast predicted further rains in the days ahead.

Mountain said that the lack of shelter materials in the camps is a particular concern, with concern mounting over people's health. An estimated 250,000 people in 74 camps are in need of urgent support.

Water levels have not yet risen but are being monitored very closely. Continuing rains will clearly pose a danger for people who wish to return to their shattered homes.

At UN headquarters today, the Economic and Social Council has scheduled a 3:30 p.m. meeting on the situation in Mozambique.