This is a summary of what was said by WFP spokesperson Tomson Phiri – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
GENEVA – The United Nations World Food Programme is currently conducting needs assessments with the Government of Mozambique and partners. In order to have a full picture of the impact of the devastating cyclone and the extent of the damage, WFP is supporting both on ground and aerial assessments undertaken with drones.
While the full extent of needs will be revealed once ongoing assessments have been concluded, early indications are that the storm has further aggravated the precarious food security situation in Sofala province. People need food assistance now to cope and will need support to re-establish their livelihoods going forward.
The tropical cyclone comes at a very difficult time in Mozambique. January to March is the peak lean season – when people struggle the most to find food. Latest statistics from the IPC Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Analysis project that over 2.9 million people are facing high levels of food insecurity in rural and urban areas.
Ahead of the storm, WFP mobilized emergency stocks to support 100,000 people as part of its immediate response. A total of 640 metric tons (MT) of food is available in WFP’s central warehouse in Beira city and in the southern hub in Maputo, which can be trucked to affected areas across Sofala province. These resources are for WFP’s ongoing lean season response but can be utilized to provide life-saving assistance to people hard hit by Tropical Cyclone Eloise. However, more resources will be urgently needed to ensure we can mount an adequate response in a timely manner.