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News note

Children hardest hit by Cyclone Favio

MAPUTO, 22 February 2007 – Children will bear the brunt of tropical Cyclone Favio, UNICEF said today as the organisation prepared to respond to the second disaster to hit central Mozambique in less than a month.

As part of an initial response, the organization is prepared to send emergency supplies that are in stock in its warehouse in the capital, Maputo, 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.


UNICEF is on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:

Thierry Delvigne-Jean, Communication Officer, Tel: (+258)  82 3121820; Email tdelvignejean@unicef.org

Leila Pakkala, Representative, Tel: (+258) 82 3051900; Email lpakkala@unicef.org




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