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SA brings relief to Cyclone Idai victims

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As Cyclone Idai waters recede, South Africa’s efforts to find and rescue the missing and bring aid to all those in need are intensifying.

Today the South African government is set to hand over donations to assist victims in the neighbouring Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The donations were made by South African citizens, companies and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

The donations include financial aid, clothes, water purifiers, non-perishable food items and blankets, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Wednesday.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will facilitate the hand over where she will start at Beira in Mozambique and the Chimanimani District in eastern Zimbabwe.

Sisulu will be accompanied by members of the business community led by Patrice Motsepe, the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals.

She will also meet rescue teams, including the South African National Defence Force, South African NGOs, United Nations Agencies and volunteers.

Using its air platforms, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has also been hard at work engaging in multilateral efforts to provide lifesaving and sustenance supplies to areas cut off by the devastating cyclone.

The SANDF was critical to all agencies operating in the area in that it provided air-lifts to assist in most low-lying areas, including Beira in Mozambique, which saw entire villages submerged under water, with the death toll rising and many people unaccounted for.

Other international agencies have jumped in to help.

The first of three planes carrying relief items from the UN Refugee Agency landed early on Wednesday morning in the Mozambican capital, Maputo. The supplies – including tents, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, and solar lanterns – will be distributed to 30 000 people in Mozambique, as well as Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The World Health Organisation is providing supplies to treat diarrhoeal diseases and cholera, and helping to set up three cholera treatment centres.