Mozambique: UN food agency begins relief flights in wake of floods

22 January 2008
Helicopter is flying aid to marooned flood survivors

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun relief flights to central Mozambique, where some 76,000 people have been affected by widespread flooding this month along the Zambezi River valley.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun relief flights to central Mozambique, where some 76,000 people have been affected by widespread flooding this month along the Zambezi River valley.

A helicopter chartered by the agency flew its first mission yesterday morning, delivering 2.2 tons of mosquito nets, tents and plastic sheeting to the town of Mutarara for use and distribution by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The helicopter will transport its first consignment of WFP food assistance today, when it is scheduled to carry 2.5 tons of cereals and pulses to the town of Goligoli, where more than 13,000 people have been displaced from their homes because of floodwaters.

In total WFP expects to deliver 74 tons of food to the Goligoli area over the next four to five days, while a second helicopter is on standby to deliver food and non-food supplies.

The agency has also started delivering food assistance by road, working with the help of local officials and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to send supplies to camps and resettlement centres in the centre of the country.

WFP has provided Mozambican authorities with three boats to assist in rescue and evacuation operations and some people are stranded in areas that cannot be reached by road. Some parts of three provinces – Tete, Sofala and Manica – are now inaccessible by land.

This is the second time in a year that central Mozambique has been hit hard by floods. Since January last year, when the Zambezi valley was inundated, WFP has provided relief assistance to about 190,000 people.

 

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