By Akanimo Sampson
Four months after Mozambique was hit by two catastrophic storms, not less than 500,000 citizens are still in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. This is the fallout of the visit of the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino.
Vitorino who is currently on a two-day visit to Mozambique to assess and support the humanitarian response after the country was devastated by the two catastrophic storms earlier this year, says there is still a lot to do, and urgent humanitarian needs to be met, in the reconstruction of the lives of people affected by the two disaster of nature, especially in regard to food, shelter and livelihoods.
Cyclone Idai (March) and Cyclone Kenneth (April) affected 1.8 million people and caused hundreds of deaths.
Several months later, 500,000 people continue to live in destroyed or damaged homes and over 77,000 now live in new resettlement sites.
In Maputo on Monday, the United Nations agency chief met with the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi; they discussed continued cooperation between IOM and the government of Mozambique to support affected populations.
He also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Condugua Pacheco and the Vice Minister of the Interior, Helena Mateus Khida.
On Tuesday in Beira, Sofala Province, one of the areas heavily affected by Cyclone Idai, Vitorino met with the Governor of Sofala Province, Alberto Mondlane and the Mayor of Beira City, Daviz Simango.
This UN agency top chief was also scheduled to visit Mandruzi, a resettlement site for displaced families, accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “IOM is committed to supporting the people of Mozambique, and to work together with Mozambican authorities and humanitarian partners in the recovery process following these disasters.”
“We thank the government of Mozambique for their collaboration and for taking the lead in the emergency response to Cyclones Idai and Kenneth”, said IOM Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering. “We salute the courage of the affected populations who are, step-by-step, rebuilding their homes, livelihoods and communities.”
Since March 2019, IOM has assisted over 280,000 cyclone affected persons with critical shelter materials and relief supplies. IOM is co-leading the Shelter Cluster with IFRC and is the lead of the CCCM Cluster working in close partnership with the Government of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management, IOM’s core government partner.
IOM is providing support to most vulnerable population through the provision of shelter and distribution of NFIs, Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Provision of Health and Protection services and Mental Health and Psychosocial support in both regions.