The cyclone that hit Mozambique and its neighbours last Thursday may be the worst weather-related natural disaster ever in the Southern Hemisphere, according to the United Nations.
Finnish aid money is contributing to relief efforts in Mozambique, where Cyclone Idai caused widespread destruction in parts of the country when it made landfall last Thursday.
The European Union has provided €3.5 million in emergency aid of which €2 million will be allocated to Mozambique. Also The United Nations Central Emergency Aid Fund, CERF, has allocated $20 million to the whole region.
Finland has contributed €8 million to the UN aid fund, and Finnish support will be allocated to help efforts in Mozambique as well; and the Finnish Red Cross has also sent an aid worker to the area.
There are currently 300 people confirmed dead, but officials expect that death toll to clim. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes, and an estimated 600,000 people need immediate help.
“In Mozambique, the authorities and relief organisations continue to investigate hurricane damage and immediate rescue work. The Embassy of Finland closely follows the developments of the situation” says Laura Torvinen, the Finnish Ambassador in Maputo.
Mozambique is a long-term partner for Finnish development cooperation, where Finnish efforts support basic education, and the strengthening of democracy and governance.
According to Ambassador Torvinen, Finland’s co-operation projects will nevertheless continue, as the projects are spread across the country and not primarily located as far the projects are nationwide and do not primarily target the provinces affected by the storm.