Children hardest hit by Cyclone Favio
Maputo, 22 February 2007 – Children will bear the brunt of tropical Cyclone Favio said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today as the organisation is preparing to respond to the second disaster to hit the central Mozambique in less than a month.
As part of an initial response, the organization is standing by to send emergency supplies that are in stock in its Maputo warehouse, including chlorine, large water bladders, water tanks, rolls of plastic sheeting, tarpaulin sheets, recreational kits and basic kits.
“We are ready to send emergency supplies as soon as we have access to the affected areas,” said the Head of UNICEF in Mozambique Leila Pakkala. “This cyclone strikes a severe blow to an area that has already been devastated by flooding over the past few weeks – children account for half of the affected populations.”
Initial reports indicate that strong winds – peaking at 200 km/h – have seriously damaged several crucial public facilities. In Vilankulos, the town first hit by the cyclone on the mainland, the winds blew away the roof of several hospitals and schools, including the roof of the maternity ward of the main hospital.
A multisectoral team has been mobilised to assess the cyclone’s impact on various key sectors – water and sanitation, nutrition, health, education and child protection in the areas affected by the cyclone. A first team will carry out a preliminary assessment on Friday in the town of Vilankulos.
UNICEF has already deployed three teams in Caia, Mopeia and Mutarara as part of the humanitarian response to the severe flooding that has led some 120,000 people to abandon their homes in central Mozambique earlier this month.
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