Nearly 2M need urgent assistance in Mozambique: UN

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

By Hassan Isilow</p> <p>JOHANNESBURG (AA) – At least 1.85 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Mozambique, where hurricane Idai made landfall earlier this month, the United Nations humanitarian agency said on Tuesday.</p> <p>A statement released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA) said the cyclone caused a major humanitarian crisis in the country, destroying infrastructure, homes and farms, and affecting livelihoods of many people.</p> <p>“As of 25 March, the official death toll was 447, with more than 15,000 people injured,” The UN agency said in a statement quoting local authorities.</p> <p>The statement further said aid agencies have highlighted the need for increased support in the management of dead bodies across the affected districts of Mozambique as mortuary services are reportedly constrained.</p> <p>“The Provincial Governor has reportedly expressed concern over the potential for an outbreak of various water and vector borne diseases, due to the challenging sanitation conditions and limited access to clean drinking water in the accommodation sites and surrounding areas,” it added.</p> <p>There are currently about 129,000 people being sheltered at over 140 collective sites in the cyclone-hit districts of Mozambique.</p> <p>“Priority needs in the affected parts of the district are food, with specific requests for cereals, vegetables, oil, salt, and biscuits, and non-food items, including kitchen sets, blankets, plastic sheeting and mosquito nets,” the statement said.</p> <p>The UN agency also said reports of acute diarrhea are increasing in cyclone-hit areas but the exact number of cases are not known. It said its partner agencies were in the process of identifying areas to set up treatment centers.</p> <p>The death toll in the three southern African countries — Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi — has now reached 762, according to figures by governments and humanitarian agencies.