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Save the Children responds to Mozambique floods

For immediate release: 24 January 2008

Save the Children responds to the Mozambique floods

Save the Children has announced that it is sending NZ$35,000 to support the thousands of children who have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the devastating floods in Mozambique. It is also accepting donations towards its international appeal.

Around 65,000 people, more than half of them children, have already been made homeless by the rising floodwaters and are living in emergency resettlement camps. It is likely that these will be the biggest floods to hit Mozambique in recent years and Save the Children fears that the number of people affected could rise much higher. Further heavy rains have been predicted and prolonged flooding could last for more than ten weeks.

Save the Children's Country Director in Mozambique, Chris McIvor, said: "We are already on the ground responding to this emergency but there is no sign of these floods letting up. In fact there is every indication that they will get worse and more children will be forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in the emergency camps, where they are living in cramped and unsafe conditions and at high risk of disease.

"We urgently need your help now to reach these children whose lives have been turned upside down by the flooding – please give generously to Save the Children's appeal for Mozambique so we can reach more children faster."

Save the Children is working hard to help children affected by the flooding. Stocks had been pre-positioned before the floods and staff have now begun distributing emergency kits containing blankets, eating utensils, soap, water purifiers, rope and plastic sheeting to help build shelters. Save the Children is also working with local authorities to ensure that children displaced by the floods are kept safe, and is providing school tents where possible, in time for the start of the school term in one week.

Save the Children New Zealand has been working with communities in Zambezia province since 2003. Our ongoing commitment to HIV/AIDS initiatives is focussed on providing support to at-risk children and their families in Morrumbala, which is close to the flooded Zambezi River basin.

Our work in Zambezia was expanded in late 2007, to incorporate a flood preparedness project in Mopeia, which lies adjacent to the Zambezi River and experienced major flooding this time last year. With an eye on the vulnerability of Mopeia and the surrounding area to seasonal flooding, a preparedness programme for local communities was developed. Being so new, the eight month project had only been running a matter of weeks before the current flooding struck.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

• Call our Save the Children Donation Line: 0800 167 168

• Visit our Website and Donate: www.savethechildren.org.nz

WHAT YOUR MONEY WILL BUY
• $20 can buy school supplies to allow help six displaced children get back to school

• $30 can buy 5 blankets to provide warmth and comfort for a flood-affected family living in an emergency camp

• $50 can buy a household kit containing plastic sheeting to provide children with shelter, water purifiers and containers, so they have drinkable water and kitchen equipment and eating utensils so families can cook for themselves.

• $250 can buy enough equipment to kit out a tented school set up in one of the emergency camps to ensure displaced children don't miss out on their education.


ENDS

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