Mozambique: emergency appeal nearly tripled as thousands remain in need of assistance

Published: 15 March 2007

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is revising its appeal to help victims of both the recent floods and Cyclone Favio, which devastated parts of Mozambique last month. The revised appeal now seeks 20,6 million Swiss francs (US$ 16,9 million, euro 12,8 million) to assist more than 117,000 people for the next six months. It nearly triples the initial appeal for 7.5 million Swiss francs (US$ 5.6 million, euro 4.3 million) launched on February 16.

“Mozambique is no longer in the headlines but many people have lost everything and they urgently need assistance.
The recovery takes time and we are counting in months”, says Mozambique Red Cross Secretary-General Fernanda Teixeira. “More than 160,000 people have been affected by the floods, some 100,000 people are still in accommodation centres while more than 55,000 are in resettlement centres. We also need to help them rebuild their houses and restore their livelihoods,” she adds.

Efforts will concentrate on the flood-affected provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambézia and Tete as well as the Inhambane and Sofala provinces hit by Cyclone Favio.

In response to the increased need for shelter, the revised appeal will help Mozambique Red Cross to provide more than 23,000 families with tarpaulins, tents, sleeping mats, jerry cans, bars of soap and mosquito nets. Health and hygiene awareness campaigns will be reinforced to improve the health situation of affected people and prevent the spread of water-borne diseases. One million water-maker sachets will also be distributed. Some 1,500 latrines will be built. Families will receive resettlement kits including shelter tools such as machete, pliers, wires, ropes and agricultural inputs. Fruit tree seedlings will also be provided.

Besides providing emergency help, the emphasis will also be put on the recovery phase. “Experiences of the 2001 floods show that the majority of displaced people ressettled in safer and higher areas but they continued to cultivate their crops along rivers”, explains John Roche, the International Federation’s southern Africa regional officer in Geneva. “This time, Red Cross volunteers will provide them with advice on how to also move their crops to more appropriate areas, to further reduce the risk of food insecurity in the future,” he adds.

Since December, torrential rains have hit Mozambique, causing major floods in the central and southern parts. On February 22, while the country was struggling to help flood victims, Mozambique experienced a very intense tropical cyclone – Cyclone Favio - which killed nine people. More than 130,000 people have been affected, 6,000 houses and 20,800 hectares of crops have been destroyed, especially in the areas of Vilanculos, Inhassoro and Govuro.