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VISIT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AMBASSADOR TO BEIRA
On Wednesday 10 April 2019, the Ambassador of the European Union to Mozambique, António Sanchez-Benedito, will travel to the city of Beira in order to observe on the ground the assistance that has been sent by the EU to the people affected by Cylone IDAI and the floods that ensued. This assistance has been mobilised and is being coordinated by the European Civil Protection Mechanism (EUPCM).
“During my visit to the Beira I will be able see first-hand how people in need are being helped thanks to EU action and also participate in the discussions on plans for the reconstruction of the affected areas,” said the EU Ambassador.
At the request of the Republic of Mozambique, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUPCM) has been activated to provide assistance to those affected by the devastating impact of cyclone IDAI. A European Civil Protection Team has been deployed to Mozambique since 23 March in order to assess needs and ensure coordination and distribution of the aid provided by the Member States of the European Union.
The European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) in Brussels coordinated the assistance received through the Mechanism from Austria, France, Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Around 60 000 rescue items and eight (8) modules (teams of civil protection specialists with equipment) have so far been offered and sent to Mozambique. The assistance provided includes water purification equipment, emergency medical teams, tents and shelters, hygiene kits, food and mattresses, and satellite telecommunications for on-site humanitarian workers. In addition, a team of 11 experts from seven Member States (Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Slovenia) was sent to Mozambique to help provide logistics and advice. This additional assistance came on top of EUR 3.5 million in EU humanitarian aid given in support of humanitarian partners on the ground in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, as well as the EUR 250 000 for the Red Cross Societies in Mozambique and Malawi provided as an initial response. Humanitarian experts from the EU were sent to Mozambique in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone to assess where humanitarian aid would be needed. The EU Copernicus satellite mapping services has also assisted in delineating affected areas and plan disaster relief operations.
“Our main priority from the outset was to ensure that aid sent by Member States reaches the people in need in a timely manner. The emergency field hospitals are now operating, as are the water purification systems. We coordinated the distribution of tents and other essential basic items needed by the people who lost everything to the cyclone, in addition to other relief actions, such as the clearing of wreckage from open spaces to make way for shelters. We continue with our efforts to help the affected people,” said Marius Dogeanu, team leader of the European Civil Protection team in Beira.
Averting a disease outbreak was one of the main concerns from the very beginning of the relief efforts in Mozambique. In addition to the water purification equipment sent to provide clean and safe drinking water, an epidemiologist from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) is supporting the coordination of emergency medical teams and other public health activities. Sanitation and hygiene promotion, and the quick transport of medical supplies to remote locations are among the actions carried out in Mozambique by humanitarian partners supported by the EU.