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Cyclone Idai: UK to provide up to £6 million of aid

WRECK: People walk through a flooded river

THE UK will provide up to £6 million of UK aid to support the victims of a devastating cyclone and torrential rains which may have left more than a thousand people dead in Mozambique, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced yesterday (Mar 18).

The UN estimate that 600,000 people are affected in Mozambique and 900,000 in Malawi.

As a result, the UK will also send tents and thousands of shelter kits to Mozambique to help provide immediate shelter to those that have been forced to flee their homes.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “I have made £6 million of UK aid available to help meet the immediate needs of people who have lost everything. We have deployed a UK team of DFID experts who are now on the ground in Mozambique helping to coordinate the UK’s response to this disaster, and we hope to have vital UK aid supplies in the region shortly. We stand ready to scale up our support if needed.

“The images of loss and devastation following this deadly cyclone and extreme weather are shocking. The people of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe should know that they are firmly in our thoughts at this difficult time, and that the UK stands by their side.”

DISASTER

According to Save The Children, fears continue to grow as rivers in the worst affected areas burst their banks inundating large swathes of land.

Aerial assessments in Sofala province, in the centre of Mozambique, show that an area more than 50 km wide has been completely submerged. They also show that Buzi town, which is estimated to be home to more than 2,500 children*, could be under water within 24 hours.

“The scale of this disaster is growing by the minute and Save the Children has grave concerns about children and their families still at risk as flood waters continue to rise,” said Machiel Pouw, Save the Children’s response leader in Mozambique.

“The assessment emerging from Mozambique today is chilling. Thousands of children lived in areas completely engulfed by water. In many places, no roofs or tree tops are even visible above the floods. In other areas, people are clinging to rooftops desperately waiting to be rescued.

“Right now, it is a race against the clock to save children’s lives. This is especially true in Buzi, where we may have less than 24 hours to get people out. We support the Government of Mozambique’s call for more assistance for urgent rescue efforts.”

As well as scaling up the rescue effort, Mr Pouw said people displaced by the floods and those who are living without water, food, shelter and healthcare need urgent assistance.

Save the Children is a member of the COSACA consortium with Oxfam and CARE and is working in close coordination with the government and the National Institute of Disaster Management to support children impacted by the disaster.

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