MOZAMBIQUE (March 7, 2007) – The Category 4 cyclone that struck Mozambique in late February followed severe floods that had already devastated the poverty-stricken country. CARE predicts a long and slow recovery for people in the hardest hit areas. The humanitarian organization is seeking to help those affected meet immediate basic needs and begin the long-term rebuilding process.
According to an assessment prepared by CARE, the Mozambican government and other NGOs, 103,000 people have no food and will need assistance for an undetermined period of time. The cyclone destroyed an estimated 20,800 hectares of crops, increasing food insecurity in the affected areas.
Tens of thousands of people also lost their homes and all their possessions. CARE is seeking to provide 50,000 people with household utensils and shelter materials, such as tents, sheets of corrugated iron, blankets, canvas and water purification supplies. People need water buckets and chlorine tablets immediately in order to avoid water-borne diseases such as cholera. CARE is also planning to provide feed, seedlings and agricultural tools to help people re-establish their crops.
Cyclone Favio, with winds reaching 270 kilometers per hour, struck hardest in Vilanculos, in Inhambane Province, one of the poorest provinces in one of the world's poorest countries.
Some 35,000 families, comprising more than 134,000 people, have been affected. Six people were killed and about 80 were injured by the cyclone, which added to the recent devastation in Mozambique, where more than 120,000 had already been displaced by flooding.
In the hardest hit areas, one hospital and 17 health clinics were totally destroyed. Educational facilities were also affected, with 332 classrooms were also wiped out, along with housing for students and teachers.
With early warning of the cyclone's approach, CARE had taken emergency precautions before the storm, moving staff to safe locations and pre-positioning vehicles with sufficient gasoline to respond quickly once the storm had passed.
About CARE: CARE is one of the world's leading humanitarian organizations, working together with the poorest communities to end poverty. CARE has been in Indonesia since 1967, and operates a broad range of integrated projects in disaster risk reduction, emergency response, environment and natural resource management, health, livelihoods and water and sanitation.
For more information contact:
Bill Dowell, Media Coordinator, CARE International, Dowell@careinternational.org, Tel: +41 79 590 3047