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Cyclone Kenneth: UN calls for international support

Brazilian Military Firefighters rescue children in the Shibaburi area in Pemba that got flooded after heavy rains (Photo: © UNICEF/De Wet)

THE UN is calling for countries around the world to provide resources and funds to those affected by the recent extreme weather incidents in Mozambique.

The country has been hit by a second major storm, Cyclone Kenneth, just weeks after Cyclone Idai made landfall and caused devastation.

UN secretary-general António Guterres has appealed to the international community for additional resources to fund the response to the twin tragedies both now and in the medium- and longer-term.

“The secretary-general is deeply saddened at reports of loss of lives and destruction in Mozambique and Comoros as a result of tropical cyclone Kenneth, six weeks after Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe,” UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said.

At least 38 people are known to have died, according to UN reports. But the figure is expected to rise over the coming days.

Around 3,500 homes in Comoros have been destroyed and areas have experienced electrical outages and road blockages, according to the UN World Food Programme.

Unicef has said that an additional 368,000 children in Mozambique are now at risk and potentially in need of lifesaving humanitarian support following Cyclone Kenneth.

Cyclone Idai, which hit central Mozambique in March, killed more than 600 people.

It is the first time the country has seen two cyclones make landfall in the same season.

UN Emergency Relief coordinator Mark Lowcock said: “Cyclone Kenneth may require a major new humanitarian operation at the same time that the ongoing Cyclone Idai response targeting three million people in three countries remains critically underfunded.”

He added: “The families whose lives have been turned upside down by these climate-related disasters urgently need the generosity of the international community to survive over the coming months.”

Flooding has prevented aid workers from reaching families affected by Cyclone Kenneth and delivering vital supplies.
Nicholas Finney, Save the Children’s response team leader in Mozambique, said: “It’s an awful sense of déjà vu. Just six weeks ago we faced a similar situation in central Mozambique when Cyclone Idai hit the region and floods cut off communities for days.”

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