‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

UNICEF/Prinsloo A mother feeds her 2-year-old son at the Samora Machel school where they were brought after their homes were destroyed and flooded in Buzi, Mozambique.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Cyclone Idai and the mounting death toll is “yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday, warning that vulnerable countries like Mozambique, would be hit the hardest unless urgent action is taken by nations across the world.

“Such events are becoming more frequent, more severe and more widespread, and this will only get worse if we do not act now”, said the UN chief. “In the face of turbo-charged storms, we need revved up climate action”, he added, addressing correspondents at UN Headquarters in New York.

The Secretary-General has convened a Climate Action Summit this September, to try and mobilize countries around the urgent need to reduce global warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The death toll across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, stands at around 700, but figures are expected to rise, with hundreds still missing. An estimated three million have been affected, nearly two-thirds of them in Mozambique, where key port city Beira was “practically razed to the ground” while the farmland interior has been inundated, said Mr. Guterres.

At least a million children need “urgent assistance”, and “we fear that whole villages have been washed away places we have yet to reach”, the UN chief added, with reports that $1 billion-worth of infrastructure has been destroyed. He said citizens of the three southern African nations would need “strong, sustained support”.

On Monday, the UN launched a launched a $281.7 million revised flash appeal for Mozambique, designating the disaster a “scale-up emergency”, which is the most severe: “I call on the international community to fund these appeals quickly and fully so that aid agencies can urgently ramp up their responses”, said Mr. Guterres.

Response from UN and partners ramps up amid devastation

Conditions for survivors of Cyclone Idai remain dire, with devastation enormous and “an extremely high risk of diarrhoeal diseases like cholera”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, briefing reporters in Geneva.

Dr Djamila Cabral, WHO Representative in Mozambique, said that in Beira, Mozambique, more than 100,000 people have lost their homes and all of their possessions.

In addition, “families, pregnant women (and) babies are living in temporary camps in horrific conditions…without secure food supplies, or safe drinking water and sanitation”.

At least 1.8 million people need humanitarian assistance in Mozambique alone. Cases of acute watery diarrhoea similar to cholera, have already been reported among victims.

To prevent an outbreak, WHO is sending 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine to the devastated country that should arrive later this week. It is also pre-positioning supplies to treat diarrhoeal diseases, including lifesaving intravenous fluids and diagnostic tests, while also setting up three cholera treatment centres, including an 80-bed facility in Beira.

To counter a spike in malaria in the coming weeks, WHO is also preparing to provide 900,000 insecticide-treated bed nets to protect families.

Rapid diagnostic tests and anti-malarial medicine are being sent high-risk areas, too, but this and other health needs will require “at least” $38 million over the next three months, Dr. Cabral said.

Coordinating food needs for cyclone victims, the World Food Programme (WFP) is targeting 1.7 million people in Mozambique with food assistance, 732,000 in Malawi and 270,000 people in Zimbabwe.

The assistance also includes logistics and emergency telecoms support. Satellite imagery shows numerous flood plains including an “inland ocean” the size of Luxembourg, WFP said in a statement. In Mozambique’s Sofala and Manica provinces, isolated communities are still trapped and awaiting search and rescue teams.

Zimbabwe, Malawi, need emergency funds too

In Zimbabwe, 95 percent of the road networks in affected districts have been damaged, while in Malawi, the cyclone had limited impact, WFP spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel said.

“This support will require $140 million for life-saving interventions in Mozambique for the next three months; $15.4 million for the next two months in Malawi and $17 million for next three months in Zimbabwe,” he added.

In a separate appeal, covering other needs, such as shelter, clean water and sanitation, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and humanitarian partners called for $282 million to support victims in Mozambique.

According to OCHA, nearly half a million hectares of crops have been flooded, along with huge damage to homes and infrastructure.

A severe loss of livestock is also expected, leading to worsening food insecurity across the central region of the country, which was already suffering from poverty and development problems before the cyclone hit.

The appeal covers needs over the next three months and adds to the requirements in the existing Humanitarian Response Plan for Mozambique which now stands at $337 million.        

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Southern Neighbourhood: EU proposes new Agenda for the Mediterranean

Promoting Primary Health Care to the Young Health Workforce: a new approach

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

Successful third issuance of EU SURE bonds by the European Commission

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Climate change and health: public health awareness in an international framework

3 charts that show the economics of European football

Better understanding the psychological impact caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

‘Don’t forget Madagascar’s children’, UN appeals for long-term help as emergency worsens

Bangladesh elections: Hold those responsible accountable for ‘violent attacks and intimidation’

State aid: Commission approves €790 million Croatian guarantee scheme for companies with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

UNESCO food and culture forum dishes up fresh serving of SDGs

OECD welcomes French plans to increase and better target foreign aid

The brain amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

eGovernmnet for more efficiency, equality and democracy

Technology and public healthcare: the basis to fight COVID-19

Challenges facing the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Digital learning can help us close the global education gap. This is how

More bank bailouts at taxpayers’ expenses

Consumer protection: Commission revises EU rules on product safety and consumer credit

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Hungary submits official recovery and resilience plan

Reimagining education for refugees post-pandemic

Technology can level the playing field for disabled people in the workforce

Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Murdered Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi during World News Media Congress 2019

UN makes ‘declaration of digital interdependence’, with release of tech report

How the diaspora is helping Venezuela’s migration crisis

How can emerging economies navigate the mobility transition?

Data is the new gold. This is how it can benefit everyone – while harming no one

Why #Wherearethewomen? is an $11 trillion question

The EU finally seizes the opportunity to support the sharing economy?

The rise and rise of media on your mobile phone – in one chart

How UN cultural treasures helped set the stage for Game of Thrones

Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

3 cognitive biases perpetuating racism at work – and how to overcome them

LGBTQI+ and health care: do they deserve more attention from medical universities?

Why a cash-free future might not be as close as you think

Coronavírus SUS – Brazil’s official app for clear communication

Why the future of food must be blue as well as green

This is how we can help Australia organize the world’s generosity

EU Council agrees to reform the system for motor vehicles but with “restricted” power for the Commission

With human rights under attack, UN chief unveils blueprint for positive change

Mobile technology saving lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technology solutions

Statement by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

Pay Transparency: Commission proposes measures to ensure equal pay for equal work

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

Madagascar villagers learn dangers of outdoor defecation

Tech companies could achieve much more by serving the common good. Here’s 3 steps they should take

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

COVID-19 WAVE III: Were the Lessons Learned from Last Year Implemented?

Trade in fake goods is now 3.3% of world trade and rising

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

3 ways governments can address cybersecurity in the post-pandemic world

Chart of the day: Why marine protected sites matter more than ever

Here’s how China is going green

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s