UN appeals for 282 mln USD for cyclone victims in Mozambique

The United Nations (UN) on Monday appealed to donors for 282 million U.S. dollars for victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique over the next three months.

UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock made the appeal at a news conference along with Henrietta Fore, head of the UN Children's Fund, who has just returned from Mozambique.

"We are appealing for 282 million U.S. dollars for the Mozambique response for the next three months," said Lowcock. The funds will be used to provide people in the region with health, water, sanitation and education, as well as to restore their livelihood.

He said additional appeals will be launched in the next few days for Malawi and Zimbabwe, which were also badly hit by Idai."The search and rescue operations have ended, and the days of mourning in all these countries (begun)," said Fore, who just visited the major Mozambique port of Beira, a city of about half a million people.

  Thousands of displaced people are crowding in schools, in need of clean water and sanitation facilities, she said. "We are very worried about disease because this is the time when cholera begins to be seen, when mosquitoes go for stagnant water and decomposing bodies and malaria begins and all sorts of hygiene problems," she said. "It's a race against time." The cyclone has caused 446 deaths in Mozambique over the past two weeks.