‘Race against time’ to help women who bore brunt of Cyclone Idai: UN reproductive health agency

OCHA/Rita Maingi Displaced women and their babies in Beira, the port city in Mozambique that was slammed by Cyclone Idai.

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


As the full extent of destruction caused by Cyclone Idai across southern Africa continues to be assessed, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Wednesday it was in “a race against time” to protect women who bore the brunt of the storm as they tried to save their households and livelihoods.

UNFPA Representative in Mozambique, Andrea Wojnar, said their main challenge was “to provide women and adolescent girls, especially those who are pregnant and lactating, with lifesaving sexual and reproductive health services”. Cyclone Idai affected more than 75,000 pregnant women, with 45,000 births expected over the next six months, she said, 7,000 of which are at risk of “life-threatening complications” due to the flooding and destruction.

Touring several facilities and communities in Dondo District, in hard-hit Sofala Province, Ms. Wojnar was “devastated” to see young girls giving birth in maternity wards with enormous holes in the roof, and nurses living with their families in muddy tents next to the cyclone-battered clinics.

“With at least 35 health facilities fully or partially destroyed, and health workers themselves left homeless or stricken”, said the UNFPA Representative, “we are working around the clock with the Government and other partners to restore basic maternal and child healthcare”.

As part of its revised humanitarian response plan, UNFPA is appealing for more than $9 million to provide reproductive health supplies and services to Mozambique – with prevention and response to gender-based violence a main priority.

Women and girls, more at risk

Women and girls are at greater risk of exploitation and sexual violence when they are dislocated from their communities, says UNFPA. Noting that “many do not have safe places to sleep or go to the latrine”, Ms. Wojnar explained that when they lack food and basic necessities, “women and girls can fall prey to predators and opportunists”.

The agency is working to establish safe spaces for women and girls, “where they can go for information, psychosocial support, and referrals to medical and legal services, especially if they have been assaulted or victimized,” she stated.

“We are also distributing ‘dignity kits’ that contain sanitary pads, underwear, African cloth for clothing, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a security whistle”, she said. “All are very basic items, but ones that uphold women’s dignity through hygiene and safety.”

‘Rally’ behind cyclone victims

At the end of a two-day visit to Mozambique, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, said that the international community must step up support to victims of the cyclone and flooding that have devastated large areas of the country.

After arriving on Tuesday to Beira, the port city of half a million people that was slammed by Cyclone Idai , Mr. Beasley flew over the nearby town of Buzi, which had been all but submerged by raging floodwaters.

In the isolated village of Guara Guara he met survivors receiving WFP-airlifted assistance.

“These people’s lives have been devastated, they have no livelihoods now, they’ve lost their homes, they’ve lost their farms, they’ve lost their crops, they’ve lost loved ones”, he lamented.

“They’re going to need help at least for the next six to 12 months to get back on their feet,” he continued. “We need the international community to rally behind the victims of this storm with major financial support, so WFP can help the survivors of Cyclone Idai.”

An estimated 400,000 hectares of primarily maize crops were washed away just weeks ahead of the main April–May harvest. Other key sources of income, like livestock and fisheries, have also been badly affected.

Victims will need sustained support until they can get back on their feet, which in the case of subsistence farmers, would be until the next main harvest in mid-2020.

“We need to work together with the Government of Mozambique and the communities to ensure rehabilitation is done in a way that will prevent this devastation happening again, build better everything: houses, schools and health centres to stand the shocks,” concluded Mr. Beasley.

UN relief work continues across stricken countries

The first of three planes carrying relief items from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) landed early on Wednesday morning in the Mozambican capital, Maputo. The supplies – including tents, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, and solar lanterns – will be distributed to 30,000 people in Mozambique, as well as Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is providing supplies to treat diarrhoeal diseases and cholera, and helping to set up three cholera treatment centres. The agency is also putting together a specialist “surge team” for Mozambique, of more than 40 people, with expertise in logistics, epidemiology, outbreak prevention and response.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

‘Business as usual’ will not achieve global education goals

ECB to support only banks not Peoples

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: The New Draft Agreement!

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

Stress, overtime, disease, contribute to 2.8 million workers’ deaths per year, reports UN labour agency

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

Should we be worried about third-hand smoke?

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

Uncovered liabilities of €5 billion may render EU insolvent

Nicaragua must end ‘witch-hunt’ against dissenting voices – UN human rights experts

Reintegrating former rebels into civilian life a ‘serious concern’ in Colombia: UN Mission chief

2019 Innovation Scoreboards: The innovation performance of the EU and its regions is increasing

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

ECB: Growth measures even before the German elections

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

Google and Apple suddenly realise that doing business in EU is tough?

Neither side stands to benefit in US-China trade spat, UN says

Can green bonds help us manage climate risk?

6 things to know about press freedom around the world

4 essential qualities for digital leaders

UN highlights profound implication of population trends on sustainable development

Nigeria: Top UN officials say more support needed to ease humanitarian crisis and rebuild lives in conflict-ravaged north-east

EU finally agreed to cut roaming charges in 2017 but criticism is always there

Checks, fines, crisis reserve: MEPs vote on EU farm policy reform

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Diplomacy for Peace Day, #VaccinesWork, the cost of war on Afghans, tech and well-being

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Commission threatens Chinese firms with trade penalties

A Sting Exclusive: “eHealth can change many dimensions of how the healthcare area functions”, Polish MEP Michal Boni underscores from Brussels

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

The Fourth Industrial Revolution can close the digital divide. This is how

Polish PM chooses to focus on economy, amid questions on rule of law in Poland

Jellyfish are taking over the world – and climate change could be to blame

UN Chief ‘strongly rejects’ Guatemala decision to expel anti-corruption body

Time to measure up: 5 ways the fashion industry can be made more sustainable

Now is the time to seize ‘unprecedented opportunity’ of the Sustainable Development Forum, says ECOSOC President

ECB’s billions fortify south Eurozone except Greece; everybody rushes to invest in euro area bonds zeroing their yields

New UN Syria envoy pledges to work ‘impartially and diligently’ towards peace

Impact of high debt levels on least developed countries ‘cannot be overstated’, says UN

Humanitarian visas would reduce refugees’ death toll

How a more integrated approach could help to end energy poverty

More needs to be done to bridge the digital gender divide

How Finland is fighting fake news – in the classroom

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: A European patent system can help European businesses lead industrial research and innovation on a global scale

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

European Youth, quo vadis?

Food supply chain: A step closer to ending unfair trading

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

Moscow’s Eurasian Union lost significance after the crisis in Ukraine

Yemen war: UN chief urges good faith as ‘milestone’ talks get underway in Sweden

Why and how did ISIS and Muslim fundamentalism gain momentum this year?

A new era of computing is coming. How can we make sure it is sustainable?

How the world’s best teacher is changing lives in Africa

Human rights: breaches in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan

EU to Google: How to dismantle European search engines in 13 steps

New UN bullying report calls for ‘safe, inclusive’ schools for all children

Guterres censures terrorist attacks in Nigeria, pledges UN ‘solidarity’

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