BEIRA / NEW YORK (March 15, 2019) – 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 lifesaving 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 million to respond to the first most urgent needs of children.
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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.