Additional 368,000 children at risk in Mozambique after second devastating cyclone – UNICEF

Children and families in areas affected by Cyclone Kenneth could face deadly flooding and landslides in coming days

03 May 2019
A female UNICEF Staff is carrying a box of supplies on her head.
UNICEF and partners distributed educations packs to learners at 12 Outobro Primary School in Beira, Mozambique.

BANGKOK/ NEW YORK/ MAPUTO, 2 May 2019 – An additional 368,000 children in Mozambique are now at risk and potentially in need of lifesaving humanitarian support after the country was hit by a second major storm – Cyclone Kenneth – in less than six weeks, UNICEF said. Cyclone Kenneth made landfall last week in the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique, putting affected areas at heightened risk of lethal flooding and landslides. Displacement is also a major concern as Kenneth destroyed up to 90 per cent of homes in some villages.

“Cabo Delgado has no history of cyclones and we are deeply worried that communities in the area would not have been prepared for the scale of the storm, putting children and families in a very precarious position,” said Michel Le Pechoux, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Mozambique. “The soil is saturated with rain and the rivers are already swollen, so the emergency is likely to get worse from flooding in the next few days. We’re doing everything we can to get teams and supplies on the ground to keep people safe.”    

UNICEF has advanced teams in Cabo Delgado specializing in health, nutrition, child protection, water and sanitation, and has prepositioned humanitarian supplies, including health kits and water purification supplies, to speed up the emergency response. Assessments are under way and the scale of the disaster will become clear over the coming days.

This is the first time in recorded history two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season. Tropical Cyclone Kenneth follows on the heels of Tropical Cyclone Idai, which made landfall on 14 March, leaving more than 600 people dead and an estimated 1.85 million people in need.

The devastation caused by cyclones Idai and Kenneth potentially could bring the cumulative number of children in need of humanitarian assistance to nearly 1.4 million in affected areas across the northern and central Mozambique. Following Cyclone Idai in March, UNICEF launched an appeal for US$122 million to support its humanitarian response for children and families affected by the storm and its aftermath, in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the next nine months.


To help children and families affected by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth:

Please send your contact information (name, address, mobile phone number) together with pay slip to UNICEF and indicate “Cyclone” for issuing a tax receipt to fax: 02 356 9229.

Media Contacts

Iman Morooka
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Thailand
Tel: 061-414-6488
Worrawut Chumanee
UNICEF Thailand


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

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook