Beira, Mozambique – During the night to Friday the intense tropical Cyclone Idai has made landfall in Mozambique’s Sofala region close to the city of Beira, causing severe damage with its strong winds and severe flooding.
The area that is affected had already seen very intense rainfall and devastating flooding since last week. The soil is saturated and unable to absorb more water.
“Cyclone Idai has now hit a population, which was already in despair and extremely vulnerable. The impact of the storm is multiplying their suffering”, says Marcoluigi Corsi, UNICEF Representative in Mozambique. An estimated 600,000 people are affected of which 260,000 are children. Thousands are displaced, because their houses are destroyed.
Mr Corsi says that “the situation is serious, and UNICEF and its partners are ready to support the Government to bring urgent life-saving support to the affected population, including clean water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as medical care.”
UNICEF is currently collaborating with the national disaster agency and other UN agencies to assess the dimension of the disaster. The biggest problems for humanitarian assistance are now the reestablishment of communication lines in the flooded area of Sofala region, as well as the access of humanitarian teams to the disaster areas.
“Despite all challenges we are well prepared, as we have prepositioned stocks like tarpaulin sheets, hygiene kits and water purification tablets available in the country. These can quickly be delivered and help during the first days.”, says Marcoluigi Corsi.
UNICEF estimates that it will then need around 10 Mio USD to respond to the first most urgent needs of children
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.mz.