…UK to provide extra £12 million in UK aid for survivors of Cyclone Idai
…UN allocates $20 million in emergency funding, as full extent of disaster continues to emerge
…The International Rescue Committee (IRC) launches immediate emergency response
THUR, MARCH 21 2019-theG&BJournal- Yesterday, over 7,500 emergency shelter kits and 100 family tents, all funded by UK aid, arrived in Mozambique for onward distribution to families who have had to flee their homes; the package takes the UK’s total support to help the victims of the cyclone to £18 million.
The UK is to provide an extra £12 million of support, including food, water and shelter, to the survivors of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced the new funding Wednesday – taking the UK’s additional support for victims of the cyclone to £18 million.
Tuesday, over 7,500 emergency shelter kits and 100 family tents, all funded by UK aid, arrived in Mozambique for onward distribution to families who have had to flee their homes.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: The UK was one of the first countries to respond to this disaster.
“I’ve been extremely moved by the images I’ve seen of this devastating cyclone which has caused misery for millions of people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. This is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest natural disasters to ever hit the region, and our thoughts remain firmly with the victims of this cyclone.”
“Today’s UK aid package is a sign of the UK’s commitment to do all we can to make sure those in desperate need of humanitarian relief have access to life-saving essentials, including food, water and shelter.”
“The UK was one of the first countries to respond to this disaster. We are keeping the situation under close review.”
UK aid will be used to help meet immediate needs on the ground across the countries affected, including: making sure families have access to clean water to drink and wash, which will also help to stop the spread of deadly diseases, providing food and food vouchers to those affected and ensuring that those that have been left homeless are able to access safe shelter.
Speaking from Maputo, Head of DFID Mozambique Cate Turton said: “This is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters that this region has ever faced, and we’re doing all that we can to get aid to those desperately in need.”
“Our absolutely priority at the moment is to get food, water and other critical supplies to affected communities, many of which are cut off because of damage to roads and infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, as the full scale of the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in South-West Africa continues to be assessed, the UN and humanitarian partners are ramping up the provision of emergency food, shelter, water and health care supplies to hundreds-of-thousands who have been affected across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated $20 million on Wednesday to ensure aid reaches those most affected.
The cyclone made landfall on Thursday night last week near Beira City, in central Mozambique, bringing heavy rains and flooding to the three countries and forcing thousands from their homes.
To date, it is feared that over 1,000 may have died in the disaster, with more than 200 confirmed dead in Mozambique, over 100 in Zimbabwe, and around 60 in Malawi. Hundreds are injured and many more unaccounted for.
The cyclone wreaked havoc in Mozambique, the worst-affected of the three countries, causing damage to 90 per cent of Beira City. Inhambane, Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia provinces have been heavily affected. About 400,000 are internally displaced. A national state of emergency has been declared.
In Zimbabwe, the east of the country was particularly affected with close to 1,000 homes destroyed in the districts of Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutasa, Mutare, Buhera, Chikomba, Gutu and Bikita districts. Through rapid needs assessments in Malawi, it is estimated that over 82,500 were displaced.
These figures are expected to rise in the days ahead as the full extent of the damage and loss of life becomes known.
“The CERF funds will complement the three Governments’ immediate efforts to provide life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to affected communities, including in health, food security, protection, nutrition and education,” said UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock. “Vulnerable groups such as children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with disabilities, and those affected by chronic illnesses will be prioritized”.
The allocation will also help humanitarian organizations to rapidly support critical logistics and emergency telecommunications and scale up water and emergency health services to reduce the risk of vector and waterborne diseases.
Mr. Lowcock explained that CERF funding was just the beginning, and much more will be needed, especially in terms of food assistance in the short- and medium-term as the flooding occurred in the middle of the crop-growing season. Much of the livestock is believed to have perished in the flooding, in areas that were already facing ‘food-crisis’ levels of food insecurity.
The warehouse of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) in Beira was badly damaged by Idai, but some food stores remain intact and is being distributed to displaced people in the city and in Dondo, higher north.
Twenty tons of high-energy biscuits have been airlifted in, to be distributed by helicopter in cut-off regions. WFP is also funding drones to support Mozambique’s disaster management agency, the INGC, with emergency mapping. To enable the humanitarian workers to operate, an emergency wi-fi connection was set up in Beira by the UN.
The UN disaster and assessment coordination (UNDAC) team was deployed to help coordinate the response, but access to affected areas is a major constraint in the delivery of aid, as much of the infrastructure such as roads and bridges were destroyed by the cyclone.
“The situation is very bad. The damage is quite serious,” said the head of the UN’s migration agency (IOM) in Mozambique, Katharina Schnoering. “It Is very difficult to get a clear overview of what is going on. There are many communications issues, there’s no power in Beira. There is no road access because the Buzi River came up and washed out the road.”
In Malawi, the representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Johannes Wedenig, said emergency supplies have started arriving in the country but that many were already “pre-positioned in areas of Malawi that are regularly affected by natural disasters”, allowing the UN to move quickly to meet people’s immediate needs, in particular in terms of water and sanitation, medicine, insecticide-treated bed nets, and schools supplies for the establishment of temporary classrooms.
With tens of thousands of people impacted by Cyclone Idai and in need of assistance, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is on the ground in the hardest hit areas providing medical care, supplies, and kits for women.
-Cyclone Idai made its way into Zimbabwe on Friday, March 15 causing massive flooding and landslides affecting tens of thousands of people;
-The disaster is compounding an already dire situation with those living in the hardest hit areas facing severe food insecurity;
-The IRC immediately launched an emergency response to assess the damage and deliver medical care and supplies, food and dignity kits to those in need;
-The IRC continues to monitor the damage and is ready to scale up our response; however, it is urgent that international donors make emergency funding available to shore up a response commensurate with the needs.
As the effects of Cyclone Idai continue to wreak havoc in Eastern Zimbabwe, the International Rescue Committee is responding in the hardest hit areas to address the massive need caused by the worst natural disaster so far of 2019. Cyclone Idai, which hit Zimbabwe on the evening of March 15, has caused massive flooding and landslides, forcing many Zimbabweans to flee their homes and seek higher ground to survive. Some areas have been cut off due to roads and bridges being swept away, and many who need help are unreachable by rescue and evacuation teams. Most of Chimanimani district is only accessible by helicopter, but poor weather conditions have hindered access since the start of the week. The IRC has deployed medical staff and supplies to Skyline in Chimanimani, where a mobile clinic has been set up to support those displaced by the disaster. The IRC is also supporting those displaced with food and kits for women.
Paolo Cernuschi, Zimbabwe Country Director at the International Rescue Committee, said,
“Our teams have been on the ground since Monday supporting the response in Chipinge, and are on standby with emergency supplies to immediately deliver assistance to the most affected district Chimanimani as soon as access is restored. While immediate life saving support is the most pressing need, the impact of this cyclone will continue to be severe in the coming weeks and months. We are expecting the situation to worsen and to see a surge in malaria and other water borne diseases. Further, this disaster compounds an already dire situation as the hardest hit areas were facing severe food insecurity and economic hardships prior to the cyclone. Whatever crops that were being grown despite the drought have now been destroyed in the floods, and these districts will need the help of the international community now more than ever.
The impact of this disaster cannot be underestimated and will require our attention for many months to come. While we are doing what we can to reach those in need, we need a major injection of emergency funding to be able to scale up our response.”
The IRC began working in Zimbabwe in 2008 to respond to the devastating cholera outbreak and has since significantly scaled up our programming to work with local communities to improve sanitation, access to clean water, safe delivery for pregnant women, and livelihood opportunities and improved agriculture for farmers.- .-Distributed by APO Group.