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Mozambique: UN agencies seek $17.7 million to help flood and cyclone victims

Mozambique: UN agencies seek $17.7 million to help flood and cyclone victims

Flooded river in Mozambique
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners have launched a flash appeal for $17.7 million to support the Mozambican Government’s relief efforts following severe flooding and Cyclone Favio, which together affected hundreds of thousands of people when they struck last month.

The funds raised will be used to provide relief and recovery assistance for 435,000 Mozambicans for a period of up to six months, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news release.

The UN appeal comes in response to the Government’s $71 million recovery and reconstruction plan, which focuses on resettlement, agricultural production, water supplies and roads, health and education, infrastructure and rapid recovery support to the private sector.

Since the beginning of February, torrential rains have caused rivers to overflow – including the Zambezi – and increased pressure on dams, which resulted in widespread flooding in the central and southern parts of Mozambique, OCHA said, citing Government estimates that 285,000 people have been affected, including 163,000 who were displaced and are now sheltered in accommodation sites and resettlement centres.

It is also estimated that more than 150,000 people were affected by Cyclone Favio.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes commended the Government for its preparedness, which he said helped to prevent a disaster from becoming a catastrophe. “The leadership shown by the national authorities has allowed the UN and its partners to support where and as needed to ensure that the people affected are able to rebuild their lives as quickly as possible,” he added.

OCHA warned that the Government’s funds, while welcome, are insufficient to meet the humanitarian needs of those affected. Meanwhile, after more than 40 days of extensive relief operations, supplies are “fast running out.”

The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), set up to send resources immediately after a disaster hits, disbursed $9.6 million for the Mozambique relief effort to jump-start activities while anticipating a response from donors to the flash appeal.