Africa

ACP Secretariat Creates Account For Cyclone Idai Victims

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By Akanimo Sampson

The secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) has created a bank account for donations as part of the emergency procedures instituted to help the victims of the devastating Cyclone Idai.

Voluntary technical, logistical and financial donations to address the immediate needs of the people to recover are requested.

To register interest in making contributions in any currency donations for victims of the cyclone, ACP requests that her secretariat be informed at info@acp.int or contact Dr. Natallie CORRIE-KORDAS, Expert -Humanitarian Matters & Civil Society, T: 02 743 06 38.

However, on March 27, UNHCR announced that it had donated relief items from its global stockpiles in Dubai to assist affected populations in Beira. The donation includes family tents, plastic tarpaulins, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, solar lanterns, cooking sets, jerry cans and other relief items. In addition, UNHCR emergency teams will be deployed to support the response and collaborate with protection partners in coordinating the protection elements of the response.

The Italian Cooperation has deployed a humanitarian cargo flight containing water purifiers, electricity generators as well as tents to set up emergency shelters that will be managed by INGC and IOM. In addition, the Italian Civil Protection Mechanism is sending an aircraft carrying a field hospital from Italy to Sofala Province, with 40 tonnes of equipment and 60 doctors, nurses and technical staff. Italy has also announced a financial contribution in support of IFRC.

The European Union (EU) through the Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated and will channel furthersupport for Mozambique, including deployment of humanitarian experts to coordinate EU assistance. The Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre has reportedly received offers of assistance from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom through the Mechanism.

The assistance offered includes water purification equipment, emergency medical teams, tents and shelter equipment, hygiene kits, food and mattresses and satellite telecommunications for humanitarian workers on the ground.

In addition, a team of 10 experts from seven member states (Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and Slovenia) will be sent to Mozambique to help with logistics and advice. This additional assistance comes on top of the $3.93 million (€3.5 million) EU humanitarian aid already announced earlier this week for Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe as well as $280,880 (€250,000)provided to Mozambique and Malawi Red Cross Societies.

The EU’s Copernicus satellite mapping services are also being used to help local authorities working on the ground. The Humanitarian Coalition comprising of eight Canadian agencies are uniting their efforts and resources through the Humanitarian Coalition (HC) to raise funds for this crisis and respond to the needs of survivors as quickly and effectively as possible.

The HC team on the ground have provided resources and have been involved in search and rescue operationsand airlifting supplies to areas that are inaccessible by road. They are providing tents, water and emergency supplies in all three of the affected countries. Special attention is being given to the protection of women and children, particularly in camps of displaced people. Workers on the ground report that families with children are struggling the most.

The government confirmed five cases of cholera at Munhava health centre in BeiraCity, according to the National Director of Medical Assistance, Ussene Isse. The authorities also reportedsome 2,500 cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in Beira district.

A total of 900,000 cholera vaccine doses, which will be effective for six months, are expected to arrive in Mozambique by 1 April and micro-planning for the vaccination campaign is underway. The number of internally displaced people (IDPs)accommodated in 161 sites across Sofala (119 sites), Manica (27 sites), Zambezia (11 sites) and Tete (4 sites) has risen by more than 9,200 people, to nearly 136,000 people,as of 27 March.

More than 92,000 houses were identified as totally destroyed (50,772), partially destroyed (25,769) or flooded (15,784)as of 27 March; an increase of more than 1,300 since 26 March. More than 3,200 schools were destroyed and nearly 91,000 students are affected, including those whose schools are being used as accommodation sites.

The Ministry of Education is preparing a timeline to address the forced break in schooling as the authorities work on transferring IDPs from schools into new accommodation sites to allow schools to reopen.An assessment team identified nearly 1,500peopleinPambanisa, Matarara, in Chimoio district, in urgentneed of assistance.

A food drop to last three days was carried out to assist them immediately and response is ongoing. An airdrop of shelter kits by helicopter is scheduled. In Dombe, health centres are reportedly out of medical supplies and essential medicines and most are running without electricity. A private company has set-up a generator for the hospital in Sussungenga district, which is now fully operational. Water supply has reportedly been reestablished in Beira, with 60 per cent of the pipes in the city having running water, according to WASH partners.

A special water trucking operation is being run by the Government pending the repair of all damaged infrastructure. UK aid flights reportedly transported materials for the repair of the water systems in Beira, while WASH partners have provided technical support, fuel and water treatment chemicals for the systems. Fuel supply remains scarce in Manica Province.

Although reports indicate that gasoline is now coming into the regionbut only a few people have access to it due to the increased prices and long queues, affecting transport business and movement. The Government has reportedly warned that traders caught speculating will be liable for “seizure of goods and a fine” according to media reports.

Access remains a challenge to effective response. The LogisticsCluster has reported that the road from EN1 to Grudja (E3) has been blocked due to 20 metres of water and a mud pool, while the road to Buzi is inaccessible in some areas. Health and WASH partners are ramping-up cholera and AWD response, in support of the Government.

Seven Cholera Treatment Centres have been established (four in Beira, two in Dondo,one in Buzi)and two are being established (one in Beira and one in Nhamatanda).WASH Cluster partners have reported that three water purification units, supporting 15,000 people are available in Beira; one of which will be deployed to Nhamatanda as a mid-term solution.

WASH support is crucial in both community centers and treatment centers.ACholera Response Strategy is being drafted to facilitate response across the district. The implementation of the Strategy will however require logistical capacity, including cold storage units. Health cluster will request support from the logistics cluster.

On 27 March, food security partners distributed food to 25,000 people and have initiated wet feeding in Beira City, on request of the Government, reaching 10,000 people. Given the current moisture in the ground following the flooding, there is a two-week window in which seeds must be planted to produce a harvest otherwise beyond this a harvest will be unsuccessful.

Seeds are reportedly available in Chimoio,but access remains a challenge due to destroyed infrastructure. Some 126 shelter kits were distributed in Beira, and 20 tents were distributed in Dondo by the Shelter Cluster partners. In Beira, some 27,000 tarpaulins and 20,000 blankets have arrived to date.

The Cluster has, however, reported significant gaps in the supply chain and has proposed to distribute materials as they arrive rather than wait for the compilation of full kits.

The pipeline is secure for tarpaulins until the end of the week, but gaps in supply are foreseen afterwards. The total commitments fall far short of the projected needs. An inventory of availability of mosquito nets is ongoing; with significant needs anticipated in the coming weeks, as malaria prevalence is expected to rise in flooded areas.

The Community Engagement (CE) group continues to raise awareness and sensitisation on critical issues affecting the response, including the high risk of disease outbreak and protection concerns through local radio and local authorities.

A special programme on cholera, featuring officials from Department of Social Communication (DPS),will be aired in three languages: Portuguese, Sena and Ndau, while other programmes will be held twice daily in different languages. Mobile teams have also been deployed to support social advocacy and mobilization in Beira, especially in areas where high numbers of diarrhoea caseshave been reported, including Munyava and Manga villages.

One hired vehicle has been mounted with megaphones and will travel to Mutua and Ifapa accommodation centers to relay cholera, malaria, HIV/AIDS prevention and gender-based violence (GBV).

This will continue until Saturday in Beira and Dondo districts. At least 10,000 Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials were dispatched from a warehouse in Beira by UNICEF and WHO and will be distributed through the Department of Health, starting with Beira district. OCHA has published a web story on how the community radio continues to be a useful platform to reach affected communities

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