UN Volunteers assist victims of Mozambique floods

Bonn, 13 March 2000 - United Nations Volunteers in Mozambique are reallocating manpower and providing funds to help alleviate suffering of the people following a month of heavy rains and flooding in the southern African country.
The UN Volunteers have been transferred from their normal projects to help the UN World Food Programme (WFP) with its food distribution activities in refugee camps. Following a briefing, the UNVs were flown by helicopter to the Macia District south of the Limpopo River where several camps -- ranging from a few hundred to 20,000 victims -- are located. In addition, UN Volunteers assigned to the WFP's Food Fund Project are helping provide emergency support to flood victims.

UNVs Aurelio dos Santos and Maria Louisa Bustamante have remained in the flooded and isolated city of Xai Xai where they are coordinating relief aid with a local emergency committee. UNV has established a direct link with WFP to secure food supply for the refugee centres there.

Two UN Volunteers working in Chokwe had to be evacuated. They, like the local population, lost everything they had to the raging flood water. Along with their other colleagues, the UNVs are now working to coordinate relief supplies in refugee camps.

The Bonn-based UNV programme and individual UN Volunteers in Mozambique have purchased clothing as well as cooking pots and utensils for communal kitchens run by a local non-governmental organization.

More than 2,200 international military and civilian personnel are currently working in Mozambique to help victims of the floods, which have already claimed the lives of some 500 people.