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NGOs respond to humanitarian crisis in Mozambique

New Zealand NGOs respond to humanitarian crisis in Mozambique

3rd April 2019

New Zealand’s aid agencies are urgently responding to the Mozambique crisis, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai.

Cyclone Idai made landfall during the night of 14th March in Mozambique, before also hitting neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi, causing flooding in an area of 3,000 sq km. It is the worst weather-related disaster to hit the Southern Hemisphere in recent history, with 1.7 million people within the cyclone path through Mozambique, and another 920,000 in affected neighbouring countries.

As at the start of April, the official death toll has risen to over 850 people (across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi). Over 2,300 people have been injured, nearly 110,000 homes destroyed, and over 140,000 people displaced.

Numbers are expected be much higher as many areas are still not accessible, and the final death toll may never be known.

The damage from Cyclone Idai comes on top of an already critical humanitarian situation in Mozambique, with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stating an estimated 1.78 million people were suffering from food insecurity at the end of 2018, ironically due to the drought that had devastated previous harvests

“New Zealand NGOs are supporting their local partners who are already on the ground and responding to the most urgent needs. The New Zealand public have been generous in their response to emergency requests for funds. The needs are immense and will require support from across the globe. Some of the greatest challenges are in getting supplies to those that need them most. To assist with this, I will personally be deploying to provide logistical support with further New Zealanders also potentially deploying. The next month will be vital as much needed medical support and emergency supplies are increased,” says Mark Mitchell, Chair of the Council for International Development’s humanitarian network.

The rise of waterborne disease such as cholera and typhoid is a specific concern given that more than 50 health care clinics in central Mozambique have been destroyed and water sources are contaminated. As anticipated, the number of cholera cases has risen significantly in the last two days, and threatens a second catastrophe for the region even as aid organisations race to implement preventative measures. Local and international health providers are collaborating to contain a cholera outbreak in the city of Beira and surrounding areas across Mozambique, where the number of cases has jumped to over 1,400.

“The needs are urgent and New Zealanders wanting to help are urged to donate to any of our NGOs active in the region, listed below. New Zealand NGOs are coordinating with each other and working with field offices to ensure the needs of those impacted by Cyclone Idai are being met. This includes sanitary water-points, latrines, food and shelter, and hygiene kits, etc. We will also remain involved to meet early and longer-term recovery needs as well” says Mark Mitchell.


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