UN assisting thousands affected by Tropical Storm Ana in Mozambique |
More than 45,000 people, including 23,000 women and children, are likely to need humanitarian aid, UN children’s agency, UNICEFsaid on Thursday.
UNICEF is staffing and preparing medical and nutritional supplies, water, sanitation and hygiene kits, as well as setting up temporary learning spaces to support children and their families they. The agency estimates it will need $3.5 million to meet immediate needs.
‘Blunt reminder’ of climate reality
Maria Luisa Fornara, UNICEF Representative in Mozambique, says they are working alongside the government and partners to ensure children and families receive life-saving support.
“This latest storm to make landfall in Mozambique is a stark reminder that the climate crisis is a reality and that children are most affected by extreme climate-related events.” she speak.
Tropical Cyclone Ana passed through several countries in eastern and southern Africa, affecting Mozambique but also Madagascar, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Strong winds and heavy rain have caused flooding, widespread destruction and death, according to media reports.
In Mozambique, the storm made landfall in the provinces of Nampula, Zambezia, Tete, Niassa, Sofala and Manica on Monday. More than 10,000 homes were destroyed, along with bridges, power lines, schools, medical facilities, water systems and other public infrastructure.
Local authorities say 12 health facilities and 137 schools have been damaged or destroyed, leaving more than 27,300 students without seats as soon as the new school year begins next week, UNICEF said. The number is expected to increase as the assessment continues.
UNICEF emergency teams will soon begin distributing essential supplies such as buckets, soap and water tablets, and ready-to-use therapeutic food to malnourished children. They will also set up temporary learning spaces for children whose schools have been damaged or destroyed.
Mozambique is very vulnerable
Mozambique is currently in the wet season and the United Nations fears the situation could deteriorate rapidly if another tropical depression or cyclone brings more rain.
Myrtha Kaulard, UN Resident Coordinator in Mozambique – the UN’s top humanitarian official in the country – said the storm highlighted the need for investment to mitigate climate change.
“This is the first climate event of this rainy and cyclone season, but the vulnerability is enormous because we have an annual cycle of extremely destructive rain and cyclones. People simply don’t have time to recover,” she told United Nations News.
According to UNICEF, Mozambique ranks nine out of 191 countries globally due to its high vulnerability to hazards, risks and lack of capacity to respond, UNICEF said, citing a risk assessment tool. disaster, INFORM.
Invest in climate mitigation
From 2016 to 2021, the country faced two severe droughts and eight tropical storms, including two major hurricanes, Idai and Kenneth, which hit the country in 2019 within six weeks, and affects more than two million people.
Ms Kaulard said the UN is “in very close contact” with national authorities and has teams in all affected provinces providing humanitarian assistance.
“Authorities are actually extremely well organized, present and alert the population and assess needs, providing immediate assistance,” she added. “But this country, Mozambique, actually suffers from climate impacts so much that we need to do more to reduce disaster risk.”