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UK aid response to Southern African cyclone

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Africa, Humanitarian aid

Several media have covered the UK’s response to the devastating cyclone in Southern Africa which has hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

UK aid is providing £20 million of support, including food, water and shelter, to the survivors of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. £6 million of UK aid was pledged on Monday 18 March and an additional £12 million of UK aid was announced yesterday.

Today (20 March) DFID announced it would, in addition, be aid matching the Disasters Emergency Committee's appeal for victims of Cyclone Idai.

Our support includes sending tents and shelter kits to the region.

We are also supporting partners such as the World Food Programme and UNICEF on the ground.

The BBC News at 10 covered our announcement on Monday evening followed by The Daily Telegraph and The Evening Standard on Tuesday.

DFID’s head of office in Mozambique Cate Turton appeared on the ITV lunchtime news and on Sky on Wednesday evening to discuss UK aid’s response to the cyclone. She also appeared on the BBC News Channel this morning.

She said during the ITV interview:

The situation on the ground in Maputo [capital of Mozambique] is incredibly serious. Since the rainfall the city has had no power, large areas are under water, schools and hospitals have been destroyed and the situation is still deteriorating

The aid right now will be used for shelter. We have a bay load of shelter materials arriving and my team is at the airport receiving those.

We’re working with WFP to deliver food to 120,000 people over the next two weeks. But we need to address sanitation and the issue with dirty water as a priority.

DFID’s Twitter channel has been regularly updating followers on our response.

On Tuesday evening we tweeted out:

7,550 UK aid shelter kits and 100 family tents arrived in Mozambique today. They will provide emergency protection from the elements for up to 38,000 people affected by #CycloneIdai. DFID has also provided immediate funds to @WFP to provide food for two weeks to 120,000 people.

Media have carried words from the International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt. She has said:

I have made £6 million of UK aid available to help meet the immediate needs of people who have lost everything. We have deployed a UK team of DFID experts who are now on the ground in Mozambique helping to co-ordinate the UK’s response to this disaster, and we hope to have vital UK aid supplies in the region shortly. We stand ready to scale up our support if needed.

The images of loss and devastation following this deadly cyclone and extreme weather are shocking. The people of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe should know that they are firmly in our thoughts at this difficult time, and that the UK stands by their side.

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