Mozambique Update: World Vision relief response as flood crisis worsens



    Growing displaced population-half of them children-lacks access to basic
    needs

    MAPUTO, Mozambique, March 1 /CNW/ - Since last week's tropical cyclone
Favio hit, exacerbating the need of already flood-devastated Mozambique, World
Vision has ramped up its emergency response. With more than 165,000 people
forced from their homes in one of Africa's poorest countries, World Vision has
focused on the immediate needs of food, water and shelter.
    The majority of displaced families are living in makeshift settlement
areas with limited or no food, water, sanitation facilities or shelter,
according to World Vision's relief teams on the ground. The emergency teams
have set up bases in the district of Mutarara where two camps have already
formed and more than 52,000 people are taking refuge. "Many families who
escaped the flash floods are now trapped on islands of higher ground
surrounded by thick mud and filthy water," said Liz Satow, a World Vision aid
worker responding to the disaster. "Many have built makeshift shelters out of
grass and twigs, which can't provide adequate protection from the torrential
rains we're continuing to experience here."
    World Vision's ongoing development work gave the agency the ability to
respond immediately to the crisis by transporting people to safety and
providing emergency aid. Some 70,000 people have already received food, tents,
water purification kits, survival kits, latrine slabs, soap, water tanks and
mosquito nets. AIDS education programming already in place will continue.
    World Vision will provide tools and seeds for 5000 families, roughly
25,000 people, to allow displaced families to make the most of the planting
season in early April as the rains stop and the river recedes. World Vision
will focus on the specific needs of children through the use of child-friendly
spaces in the two settlement camps. These spaces will allow children a safe
place to play, provide opportunities for learning and help address their
psychosocial needs.
    Yet the need remains acute. The majority of displaced families have lost
their maize harvests along with their homes. Access remains a serious
challenge, with many areas unreachable except by helicopter. Even where
floodwaters have receded, it is still too deep for vehicles and too shallow
for boats. The rainy season here continues through late March, making it
impossible for most families to return home until then. Continued rains could
also cause further flooding. World Vision hopes to raise $100,000 for an
initial three-month response and is appealing to Canadians to donate.
Canadians currently sponsor 9,300 children in Mozambique, who are being
closely monitored for health and safety. Canadians wishing to donate can call
1-800-268-5528 or visit www.WorldVision.ca
    World Vision has worked in Mozambique since the mid-1980s, and is
continuing its long-term development programs alongside the current flood
response.

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. Motivated by our Christian faith, we serve all people
regardless of religion, race, gender or ethnicity. For more information,
please visit WorldVision.ca.




For further information:

For further information: PHOTOS AVAILABLE. World Vision aid worker, Liz
Satow, is available to speak to the media from Mozambique, please contact:
Marie Bettings, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3211, (416) 677-4450 (cell),
marie_bettings@worldvision.ca


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