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Mozambique: providing life-saving food and health assistance to survivors

April 9 2019 - MOZAMBIQUE

Cyclone IdaiMozambique

Sant’Egidio response reaches Beira and Buzi

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Food shortage is one of the dramatic consequences of Cyclone Idai: food supply is difficult, both in Beira and rural areas, still completely isolated.  Sant’Egidio has rolled out its emergency response with immediate food assistance to thousands of people, particularly cooked meals, as coal either to expensive or difficult to find.

"I saw thousands and thousands of children lining up and huddling to get some food” says one of our volunteers. “I saw big and huge eyes light up in front of a plate with some rice and meat… open hands of blind beggars who just wanted to touch my face and hug me”.

The images we received show these long lines of children, heart breaking in their composure, or the joy of women (see video) when they receive food package for the  entire family, and some “capulane” - large multi-purpose colored cloth that can be used as a dress or as a blanket, when needed.

All volunteers - many of whom are using their own annual leave in order to be there and help - are immediately recognizable thanks to the T-shirt with the dove and the rainbow. “From distance we hear shouting Sant’Egidio! Sant’Egidio!”.  People starts to smile, children full of joy are climbing up to your neck and, despite the devastated and desolated surroundings, there is still room to be festive”.

An "exploratory mission" of Sant'Egidio reached the area of Buzi, which was only possible by helicopter as floods are so extensive there that connection with hinterland are completely abrupt. The exact number of victims – currently standing at several hundreds but likely to increase – has not been established yet. We brought aid for all the poor people who remained isolated and deprived of everything in this area. Their account are showing. To survive, they had to find shelter on trees or rooftops. Like Marcelo, a 16-year-old boy, rescued by an helicopter while he had found shelter on a mango tree. Marcelo doesn’t know where his parents are…  Sadly, we received reports of some people who, after long days and nights on branches, fell asleep and lost their lives.

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Mozambique: providing life-saving food and health assistance to survivors
Mozambique: providing life-saving food and health assistance to survivors
Mozambique: providing life-saving food and health assistance to survivors
Mozambique: providing life-saving food and health assistance to survivors
Mozambique: providing life-saving food and health assistance to survivors
Mozambique: providing life-saving food and health assistance to survivors