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More than 3,400 classrooms damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, says UN Children’s Fund (19.04.2019)

More than 305,000 children in Mozambique are losing out on lessons at school since the devastating floods caused by Cyclone Idai, which struck southeast Africa just over a month ago.

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 19, 2019 –  The latest assessment by UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, indicates that around 3,400 classrooms have either been destroyed or damaged, with 2,713 out of action in the Sofala area alone.

In some of the areas affected, schools will need extensive repair and rehabilitation after being converted into makeshift emergency shelters for children and families displaced by the huge storm, which barreled inland off the coast of Mozambique on 14 April, also causing damage and flooding across large areas of Zimbabwe and Malawi.

UNICEF is urging authorities to reconstruct schools in a more robust way, so they can withstand natural disasters in the future, and they are urging humanitarian partners involved in the mammoth recovery effort, to “continue working together to implement solutions” – such as establishing temporary learning centres – to get children back in school as quickly as possible.

“Any prolonged interruption in access to learning could have devastating consequences for children over both the short and long term”, said the agency. “Education is essential for helping children return to a sense of normalcy following a traumatic event, like a major cyclone, and for their long-term development and prospects.” 

UNICEF is also concerned that the disruption will compound what were already low rates of school enrolment and “learning achievement” in Mozambique. iwith less than 20 per cent of secondary-school aged children currently enrolled.

Dropout rates could increase if families whose property or livelihoods have been negatively affected by the cyclone are forced to send their children to work to make ends meet.

Teachers have also suffered because of the cyclone, the agency notes, proposing short-term financial support for educators affected by the disaster to help them re-build their lives.

The needs in Mozambique remain massive, with 1 million children in need of assistance. UNICEF has 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.

In immediate response to the storm, more than 14 countries, including five from Africa, deployed more than 100 assets to support the aid effort, said UN humanitarian coordination office, OCHA, including $14 million released from the Central Emergency Response Fund by humanitarian affairs chief, Mark Lowcock.

Food has been distributed from the first day of the disaster response, and more than one million people have been reached so far. More than 800,000 have been vaccinated against cholera, and more than 117,000 have received emergency shelter.


World Food Programme reaches 1 million flood-affected people in Mozambique (16.04.2019)

World Food Programme (WFP) intends to assist a total of 1.7 million people requiring urgent food and nutrition support in the four most affected provinces (Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia).

BEIRA, Mozambique, April 16, 2019 –  One month on since Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique on March 14, the United Nations World Food Programme has reached one million people with food assistance and continues to expand its emergency response while launching recovery and reconstruction interventions.

‘’In the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, people were so very desperate.’’ said Lola Castro, WFP’s Regional Director for Southern Africa. ‘’Thanks to the hard work and resourcefulness of the many involved, the speed and scale of the response has transformed that desperation into hope.’’

Working in close coordination with the government and the INGC, the national disaster management agency, WFP intends to assist a total of 1.7 million people requiring urgent food and nutrition support in the four most affected provinces (Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia).

  • The successful scale-up to date has been made possible by the generosity of donors, including those who provide unearmarked, flexible funding. However, WFP still requires US$130 million to be able to fully implement its response through June.
  • People affected by the flood and cyclone are receiving up to 30-day rations of rice and maize meal, pulses, fortified blended food and vegetable oil. Where local markets are functioning, WFP distributions of food will increasingly give way to cash-based transfers (CBTs). Some 145,000 people are to receive support this way in April.
  • WFP has deployed nutritionists to the four priority provinces, begun moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) treatment at displacement centres and devised a six-month plan to treat at least 100,000 children and women.
  • An ongoing cholera outbreak, that has so far infected more than 5,000 people, threatens to worsen malnutrition. WFP is supporting three cholera treatment centers in Beira with food assistance.
  • As lead of the global logistics cluster, WFP deployed to Mozambique three MI-8 transport helicopters and a C-295 freight aircraft to support the broader humanitarian response. Two WFP amphibious vehicles (SHERPS), able to carry 1,000 kilos of cargo, are in service, carrying food and other essentials to otherwise inaccessible locations.
  • Drone mapping of damage and needs is a key element of WFP’s support to the INGC. WFP drone pilots are assessing damage to critical infrastructure – including hospitals, clinics, schools, roads and bridges. All 44 square kilometres of Beira and several towns and villages outside the city have been mapped so far.
  • Planting for a second 2019 harvest in October-November must be completed in the coming days. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has begun the distribution of maize, bean and vegetable seeds, and of tools, to 14,700 smallholder farming families in Sofala and Manica provinces. WFP is supporting the effort by providing food assistance to the families to ensure seeds are planted rather than consumed.
  • More than 700,000 hectares of crops – primarily maize – were washed away ahead of the main April–May harvest, deepening food insecurity. Other key sources of income, like livestock and fisheries, have also been badly affected.
  • Given the magnitude of the damage caused, Mozambique’s recovery needs too will be significant. WFP is working to ensure that a major government and World Bank-led post-disaster needs assessment that began this week will provide for improved food/nutrition security and social protection programmes.
  • The disaster has underscored how vulnerable southern Africa is to climate shocks, and the imperative of significantly increased investment in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, key elements of WFP’s pre-cyclone work with vulnerable communities, including subsistence farmers.

African Union Chairperson Mahamat: Is he flipping a coin to see if a military coup is okay?

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”Thomas Paine

I don’t know, the former Chadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Moussa Faki Mahamat, whose the African Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union. However, he has a rare strike of confidence. Surely after today, he should explain himself. Not because I am directly against the man, but because his perspective on the military takeover, coup d’etat in Zimbabwe in 2017 and Sudan in 2019. Is strikingly similar, but his response is differing.

Both was actions done against 30 years of rule by one person in each republic. The African Union have supported their reign and never imposed anything on the member nations. However, today the revolution of Sudan is put in another pile, than what happen in Zimbabwe. We can see how the Chairperson of the AU is acting differently. In a manner, where his vision doesn’t coincide.

Just take a look!

The African Union recognizes that the Zimbabwean people have expressed their will that there should be a peaceful transfer of power in a manner that secures the democratic future of their country. President Mugabe’s decision to resign paves the way for a transition process, owned and led by the sovereign people of Zimbabwe” (African Union – ‘Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union on the Situation in Zimbabwe’ 21.11.2017).

The Chairperson expresses the African Union conviction that the military take-over is not the appropriate response to the challenges facing Sudan and the aspirations of its people” (African Union – ‘Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Situation in Sudan’ 11.04.2019).

I don’t know if there is deep grudges between Mahamat and General Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ihn Ouf of Sudan or there are was a friendly relationship between Mahamat and General Constantino Chiwenga of Zimbabwe.

Because, his tone is vastly different. Both these men did similar fashion to take power. The Coup that wasn’t Coup in Harare in November 2017. While the Coup, that is currently a State of Emergency in Sudan. They are viewed differently by the African Union and their Chairperson. That is showing with the use of words and the protocol that the AU is sending the Republic’s way.

The Zimbabwean new leadership got a friendlier tone, as they used the military and installed new transitional government in 2017. While the Sudanese are getting a more hostile tone for starting to have a Military Transitional Council for two years before elections. This is done in the same fashion and with use of power by the same party as of the deposed leaders in both Republics.

The Sudanese are getting rid of Al-Bashir and starts a transitional phase by the same leadership. While the Zimbabwean did the same in 2017 and had a transitional government until the elections of 2018. Alas, it was okay in Harare, the AU had no trouble with the military intervention or at disposal in Zimbabwe. But the same Union are not impressed by what Ahmed Ihn Ouf done in Khartoum today. Still, it was fine just mere two years ago?

I don’t like a bloodless coup, its good every time a dictator and a tyrant has fallen, but the whole system has to re-invented and also restructured for a civilian rule of some kind. Not a government run by the army. Then the votes, the ballots and the will of the people will not be respected. That is why the change in Khartoum right now is only skin-deep.

The same, which happen in Harare, where the same fashion of ZANU-PF continues to linger on. There was only a change of head, but not of their operations nor their way of expression power. The same is trying to appear in Khartoum. Surely, the NCP will not let go easily. Even if the public continues to demonstrate. They will do whatever it takes to prolong their rule.

That is why, the AU could have been a useful tool, but this is usually the Dictators Club in Addis Ababa. That is why, their statements is not believable. Nevertheless, in this regard, their statement can be questioned, because of how vastly different it was comparing similar efforts in two different countries. That from the same Mahamat, whose seen both things occur within his time in the chair.

There are contrasts and difference in how these two military coup d’etat have appeared, as they happen in realms, which is not to similar in fashion. Even if both was bolstered by the army and needed their blessing to rule. Still, the Mugabe and the Al-Bashir reign ended abruptly by the force of the soldiers, who kept them in power for so long.

Now, the dictator club of Addis lost one more member and surely, will soon get a new face. Wonder, if Mahamat is ready to explain, why he accept the incident in Harare, but questioned the one in Khartoum? Peace.

WFP Statement On Access To Jet Fuel in Zimbabwe (03.04.2019)

Mozambique: Cyclone Idai & Floods Flash Update No. 15, 01 April 2019 (01.04.2019)

The official death toll has risen to 518 people as of 1 April.

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 2, 2019 – HIGHLIGHTS

• The official death toll has risen to 518 people as of 1 April, according to the Government.

• More than 1,000 cases of cholera and one death have been reported.

• Nearly 110,000 houses have been identified by the authorities as totally destroyed (59,910), partially destroyed (33,925) or flooded (15,784).

• As of 31 March, nearly 33,000 people had been reached with some type of shelter assistance.


As of 1 April, the official death toll rose to 518 people; an increase of 17 people since 31 March, according to the Government. Nearly 110,000 houses were identified by the authorities as totally destroyed (59,910), partially destroyed (33,925) or flooded (15,784). More than 146,000 displaced people were sheltering in 155 sites across Sofala (116,237 people), Manica (14,047 people), Zambezia (13,203 people) and Tete (2,655 people) as of 1 April; of whom more than 7,400 were identified as vulnerable, according to the Government.

The Ministry of Health reported on 1 April that 1,052 cases of cholera had been recorded, including one death. Most of the cases reported have been reported in Beira (959 cases; 1 death), followed by Nhamatanda (87 cases), and Dondo, where a new cholera outbreak was reported, with six confirmed cases. Of these, 258 cases (25 per cent) were reported in the last 24 hours. The cholera outbreak is occurring in both urban (Beira city) and rural settings, including in flooded areas where water, sanitation and health infrastructure has been severely damaged.

More than 711,000 hectares of crops have been recorded as destroyed, raising concerns over food security and sustainability of return. In Chimoio district alone, authorities report that more than 451,300 hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed, comprising 65 per cent of the total crops in the Province. Displaced people living in accommodation centres report that, in addition to damaged or destroyed houses, lack of food and destroyed livelihoods are among the reasons for people not wanting to return, according to Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) monitoring.


The cholera taskforce is holding daily meetings in Beira to inform operational response. The Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign is scheduled to begin on 3 April and to last six days. Training for personnel giving the vaccinations is underway. Meanwhile, community sensitization is on-going on radio and through printed communication materials to convey messages related to communicable disease control and when to seek health-care. The Community Engagement Group has amplified messages to address and discount rumours that the cholera vaccination will give people cholera.

As of 31 March, nearly 33,000 people had been reached with some type of shelter assistance, with an increasing pipeline expected; although not for all items. Air and boat lifts transported shelter kits to Buzi Town to cover 4,000 households. Registration has started, with distributions scheduled for 1 April, targeting 1,250 people, with plans to scale up over the coming days. The authorities are requesting for more support with shelter kits for people being relocated from schools to the new accommodation centres, to facilitate the re-opening of schools. The issue of shelter is becoming increasingly critical given the movement of affected people from accommodation shelters to areas of land, which will become permanent housing sites. UNICEF visited one of these new sites and reported that the areas were already hosting many affected people but lacked access to water or sanitation and in need of better shelter materials. There are also concerns around the notice given by the Government on relocation activities and that children will be relocated far from their schools. The Education Cluster are planning to discuss the issue with the Director of Education.

WFP has provided food to 56,000 people in Manica province, covering areas in Buzi and Nhamatanda and are mobilizing support for a further 50,000 people in the coming days. Mussorize remains difficult to access without a helicopter and the team on the ground is looking into possibilities of temporary crossing through Zimbabwe to reach the populations who have had little assistance to date. Some 10,000 people are being targeted for wet feeding in Beira City, with partners scaling up to 15,000 to 20,000 people in coming days. There is more capacity for the partner to scale further but need to identify kitchens in which to prepare the meals. Several schools have been identified and will be piloted as potential feeding sites.

Between 65,000 and 75,000 people will be targeted for seed distribution, in view of the limited planting window (1 to 4 weeks) within which a good harvest can be expected. Protection partners are monitoring the new relocation sites for protection risks. More broadly there have been some protection risks identified, particularly in relation to food distributions. There is a need to also target communities outside the transit centres.

The municipal authorities, with support from health partners and donors have restored the water supply for Beira city, and are planning the same for Buzi. Bladders have been installed and water trucking in accommodation-centres is ongoing, in addition to the re-establishment of the chlorination plant in Beira city. UNICEF has provided water treatment product (CERTEZA) in Beira neighborhoods to reach 50,000 households and are prioritizing water treatment units to CTCs/Hospitals – currently systems are in Buzi town, Estaguinha, Nhagau Sede/Beira municipality, Macurungo health center. Current constraints include, limited data on number of people affected and in need, lack of enough water tanks, buckets, clinical files, fuel supplies, cholera beds and testing kits.

The health cluster in Chimoio has reported a shortage of chlorine, having received only 10 per cent of the required amount. The areas of Gondola and Vanduzi still require chlorine for water treatment. The Director of Health in Chimoio has reported that a stock of 70,000 malaria treatments are available in the province and has requested partners for support in providing mosquito nets.

A new communication link has been set up at the airport which will enable faster internet. There are currently 810 registered users and around 250 people on the internet at any one time. Buzi now has 3G and a V-SAT is being established in Matarara, according to the Emergency Telecommunication Cluster (ETC)

Zimbabwe: CSRO – Press Statement (01.04.2019)

UN Refugee Agency airlifts relief support to survivors of Cyclone Idai (31.03.2019)

31 March 2019, Harare – the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) handed over to Government today some 80 MT relief items, including family tents, plastic tarpaulins, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, solar lamps and kitchen sets to support 10,000 Zimbabweans affected by cyclone Idai.

“The devastating cyclone has left people in dire need of humanitarian support,” said UNHCR Country Representative Robert Tibagwa while handing over the airlifted relief items at Robert Mugabe International Airport. “UNHCR supplies will help provide shelter and basic items to survivors, including women and children, as they have lost everything.”

UNHCR is part of humanitarian team working in close collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe and other humanitarian partners to ensure people receive the required assistance and are protected from risks and dangers. UNHCR has also deployed a team of emergency experts to support relief efforts.

In Zimbabwe, it has been reported that Tropical Cyclone Idai has displaced an estimated 90,000 people in nine districts mainly in the eastern highlands part of the country. The cyclone has reportedly killed over 200, with some 300 still missing and has affected 270,000 people. Vulnerable people, including women and children, are at risk and in need of relief and recovery support. About 95 per cent of the infrastructure, including schools, roads and bridges have been damaged in Chimanimani districts.

Zimbabwe hosts some 20,000 refugees and asylum-seekers mainly in Tongogara Refugee Camp where some 1060 houses were damaged by Cyclone Idai affecting some 5,300 people. The water and sanitary infrastructure was severely affected leading to a shortage of clean drinking water.

UNHCR is grateful to its corporate partner International Humanitarian City (IHC) which has donated the aid flight.

The airlift is part of UNHCR efforts to provide aid to thousands of people in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. A plane carrying UNHCR relief items arrived in Maputo, Mozambique last week. Another flight is on its way to Malawi today (Sunday).

Mozambique: Cyclone Idai & Floods – Flash Update No. 14, 30 March 2019 (30.03.2019)

Mozambique after the cyclone (28.03.2019)

The United Nations has launched an emergency appeal for US $281 million to save lives and kick-start recovery in Mozambique.

NEW YORK, United States of America, March 28, 2019 – When Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on 14 March, it was one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in Africa in recent times. The death toll across the three countries is at least 700, with hundreds of people still missing. The devastation has affected 3 million people, nearly two-thirds of them in Mozambique, and this number will rise. One million people across the three countries need life-saving assistance. The cyclone destroyed entire towns and villages, and wiped out hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland on the eve of the next harvest. The United Nations has launched an emergency appeal for US $281 million to save lives and kick-start recovery in Mozambique. Appeals for Malawi and Zimbabwe will be issued in the next few days. Here we document the storm’s impact and the humanitarian response, in Mozambique so far.

Search and rescue coming to a close

Within hours of the cyclone hitting, international search and rescue teams mobilized to join volunteer and Government efforts to rescue and evacuate survivors. The cities of Beira and Buzi were particularly hard-hit. Hundreds of Buzi residents took shelter in the stands of a stadium, where they have slept in the open air for a week, with nowhere to go. Beira City, with a population of over 500,000, and its surrounding villages, were practically razed by the flooding. Electricity to Beira has been cut and all of the roads and bridges destroyed, so the only means of access is via boat or plane.

Aid operations are scaling up

Aid agencies are rapidly scaling up their emergency assistance. We have distributed thousands of emergency kits with food, medicine, water purification gear and shelter to communities that are still stranded by flood waters. We are now rapidly gearing up our food, shelter, health and cholera prevention and protection responses.

Cholera vaccines on their way

Aid agencies are bringing 900,000 oral cholera vaccines into the country to roll out a mass campaign. Stagnant water, lack of hygiene and sanitation provides a perfect breeding ground for cholera and malaria.

Food prices soaring

Tropical Cyclone Idai hit a vast area that is already suffering from poverty, drought and climate change. Early estimates report half a million hectares of crops in Mozambique’s bread basket have been wiped out just before the harvest. Food scarcity is causing prices to soar – in Beira city, the price of some staple foods has risen by 500 per cent. So far, we have reached 100,000 people with food assistance and are scaling up to reach many more.

Rebuilding must begin now

The Government estimates 90,000 homes have been destroyed, and 128,000 people are taking shelter in 154 temporary sites across the country. There is an urgent need to invest in rebuilding from the very get-go, stresses the Government and aid agency heads.

Sheltering in schools

Thousands of displaced families are taking shelter in schools and other public buildings that haven’t been destroyed. Education services need to get up and running as soon as possible, say aid agencies. Hortencia, below said: “My house collapsed. I had to leave in the middle of the night with my children. I was so afraid. The wind was so strong and trees were falling. I wasn’t sure we would survive.”

World Food Programme Executive Director urges more funding for Cyclone-Hit Mozambique (27.03.2019)

BEIRA/MAPUTO – At the end of a two-day visit to Mozambique, the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, David Beasley, today said the international community must step up support to victims of the recent cyclone and flooding that have devastated large areas of the country.

After arriving Tuesday in Beira, which was struck by Cyclone Idai on March 14, hitting the port city of half a million people, Beasley overflew the nearby town of Buzi – which had been all but submerged by raging floodwaters – and met survivors receiving airlifted WFP assistance in the isolated village of Guara Guara.

“These people’s lives have been devastated, they have no livelihoods now, they’ve lost their homes, they’ve lost their farms, they’ve lost their crops, they’ve lost loved ones. And they’re going to need help at least for the next six to 12 months to get back on their feet,” Beasley said. “We need the international community to rally behind the victims of this storm with major financial support, so WFP can help the survivors of Cyclone Idai.”

An estimated 400,000 hectares of crops – primarily maize – were washed away just weeks ahead of the main April–May harvest. Other key sources of income, like livestock and fisheries, have also been badly affected.

Victims will need sustained support until they can get back on their feet – in the case of subsistence farmers, until the next main harvest in mid-2020. “We need to work together with the Government of Mozambique and the communities to ensure rehabilitation is done in a way that will prevent this devastation happening again, build better everything: houses, schools and health centres to stand the shocks,” added Beasley.

The disaster has demonstrated how vulnerable communities are to climate shocks and will inevitably push up already high malnutrition rates.

Since the cyclone hit, WFP has provided food assistance to more than 150,000 people, intends to reach half a million in the coming weeks, and, as soon as possible, all 1.7 million people urgently in need of food.

Displaced cyclone victims sheltering in scores of schools and churches in Beira and surrounding areas have received easy-to-prepare fortified blended food. Sixty metric tons of high energy biscuits airlifted into the country have been dropped by helicopter to people stranded by the floodwaters.

With 86,000 metric tons of commodities needed in the next three months, WFP is procuring large quantities of cereals, vegetable oil and fortified blended foods elsewhere in southern Africa, and shipping and trucking them into Mozambique. As conditions permit, WFP will increase local procurement.

As lead of the global humanitarian logistics “cluster” that helps coordinate the relief effort, WFP has deployed to Beira three MI-8 transport helicopters and a freight aircraft to support the broader humanitarian response. As lead of the emergency telecommunications cluster, WFP has been working to re-establish vital networks that can accelerate the response by government and humanitarian agencies.

Almost 60 additional WFP staff have been deployed to Mozambique, and 45 more are on the way: emergency coordinators, air operations managers and programming, logistics and telecommunications experts.

WFP requires US$140 million for the next three months.

On Wednesday in Maputo, Beasley met President Nyusi, key government ministers and donor representatives. “In these last two days, I was heartbroken by the devastation, but I also saw courage and determination on the faces of the Mozambican people”, he said. “The terrible destruction cannot dampen their spirits. WFP will stay with them, scaling up to help as many as possible.

“I urge the international community to respond quickly and generously, because lives are truly in the balance right now.”

The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @wfp_mozambique

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org(mailto:firstname.lastname@wfp.org)):
Gerald Bourke, WFP/Beira, Mob/whatsapp +27 82 90 81 417
Deborah Nguyen, WFP/Beira, Mob: +258 86 505 6300 / whatsapp +33 652 89 76 44
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Herve Verhoosel, WFP/Geneva, Mob. +21 798428057
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel. +44 (0)20 3857 7411, Mob. +44 (0)7968 008474
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-653-1149, Mob. +1-202-774-4026
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob. +1-202-770-5993

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