The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley called on the international community to increase its support to victims of Tropical Cyclone Idai.
Beasley spoke in Buzi, which is near Mozambique’s port city of Beira, where he met survivors receiving airlifted WFP assistance in the village of Guara Guara. Beira has borne the brunt of the effects of the cyclone which made landfall on March 14.
The cyclone also devastated other areas in Mozambique as well as Malawi and Zimbabwe.
“They are going to need help at least for the next six to 12 months to get back on their feet. We need the international community to rally behind the victims of this storm with major financial support,” Beasley said.
The WFP says it has provided food assistance to more than 150,000 people and intends to reach half a million in the coming weeks, and, eventually, all 1.7 million people who are urgently in need of food.
WFP added that it has deployed three MI-8 transport helicopters and a freight aircraft to support the broader humanitarian response in Beira and is working to re-establish networks that can accelerate the response.
“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,” Beasley added.
The WFP says it needs at least $140 million just for food in the next three months.
The WFP declared the Mozambique flood crisis a Level 3 emergency, classifying it among a few of the organisation’s top response priorities. The other nations in this level are Yemen, Syria and South Sudan.
At least 557 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi died and hundreds of thousands of others have been displaced in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai but the figures are expected to rise.