FACTBOX: Six months after cyclones, Pope spotlights Mozambique's needs

by Kim Harrisberg | @KimHarrisberg | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Wednesday, 4 September 2019 16:41 GMT

Buildings damaged during Cyclone Kenneth are seen from the air in a village north of Pemba, Mozambique, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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Protection of the environment is expected to be a key theme of the pope's six-day visit to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius

By Kim Harrisberg

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pope Francis set off for Mozambique on Wednesday, six months after the poor southern African nation was struck by the worst two cyclones in its history, which flooded villages, flattened a major port city and killed more than 600 people.

Protection of the environment is expected to be a key theme of the pope's six-day visit to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius, following his Sunday appeal for urgent action to address a global "climate emergency".

Here are seven facts about Mozambique's recovery efforts, six months after Cyclone Idai hit in March and Cyclone Kenneth in April:

1. Some 1.8 million people struck by Cyclone Idai in central Mozambique have received emergency aid, as well as a further 500,000 further north hit by Cyclone Kenneth.

2. More than 1,000 aid workers from some 400 organisations were sent to respond to one of the worst climate-related disasters to hit the southern hemisphere.

3. With more than 100 hospitals and clinics damaged by the cyclones, mobile clinics and volunteers vaccinated more than 800,000 people against cholera, ending an outbreak, and continuing to treat measles, malaria and malnutrition.

4. Some 75,000 people are still displaced across 68 temporary sites, awaiting resettlement, and relief agencies fear they do not have adequate shelter for rainy season that begins in November.

5. Drought, floods, cyclones and pests have disrupted farming, leaving about 1.6 million people in need of food aid, which is likely to increase to nearly 2 million from October without emergency support.

6. Some 67,500 children under the age of five need treatment for malnutrition, a figure that is predicted to increase at the end of the year, when families go hungry between harvests and rains make malaria and diarrhoea more common.

7. The United Nations has received about 45% of the $440 million it requested to respond to Mozambique's humanitarian needs, as flooding coincided with the annual harvest, damaging crops, homes and schools. Sources: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Food Programme, World Health Organization, USAID, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

(Reporting by Kim Harrisberg @kimharrisberg; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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