Mozambique Floods and Cyclone Flash Appeal 2007
The Humanitarian Country Team is appealing for a further US$ 24 million to support the Government of Mozambique in its efforts to address the emergency needs arising from the floods in the Zambezi River Basin and the impact of Cyclone Favio in Inhambane and Sofala Provinces. The Mozambique Flash Appeal for Floods and Cyclone has been developed through collaborative efforts of United Nations agencies, the Government of Mozambique, and international and national humanitarian organisations present in Mozambique, under the framework of the Cluster Leadership Approach.
On 4 February 2007, the Instituto Nacional de Gestão de Calamidades (INGC), the National Disaster Management Institute of Mozambique, declared a “red alert” calling for the evacuation of communities along the Zambezi River Basin, as rising water levels threatened to flood low-lying areas. Heavy rains in Mozambican territory created this threat, as well as in the neighbouring countries of Zambia and Malawi, which also feed the Zambezi River and its tributaries. An estimated 285,000 people have been affected by the floods; of these 163,000 have been displaced, with some sheltered in newly established accommodation centres, and some in resettlement centres created after the flood emergency in 2001.
National authorities managed to mitigate the potential flood damage by carefully controlling and coordinating the discharge rate from the Cahora Bassa Dam. The success of the national emergency coordination and response efforts can be attributed to the extensive preparedness and response planning that had been ongoing throughout the year, under the leadership of the INGC. This process was further strengthened at the advent of the rainy season in October, with the preparation of national, provincial and district contingency plans for flood prone-areas, and the pre-positioning of essential supplies for emergency response.
On 22 February 2007, Mozambique suffered the brunt of yet another natural disaster, when Cyclone Favio made landfall in Vilanculos, in the coastal province of Inhambane. An estimated 150,000 people were affected by the cyclone. Essential infrastructures, as well as health centres and educational facilities, in affected areas were severely damaged. Additionally, thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed.
The Government of Mozambique, through coordination by the INGC, with the support of line ministries at national, provincial and district levels, has been leading the emergency response process in both the flood and cyclone emergencies. National and regional emergency operations centres (CENOEs) were activated by the INGC, in order to ensure the effective coordination of evacuation, rescue and relief operations carried out by national and international, civil and military actors.
The United Nations, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, and the wider international humanitarian community in Mozambique decided to apply the Cluster Approach as a framework to complement Government emergency coordination efforts. The nine clusters created in the Mozambique context mirror the sector working groups created in the national and regional CENOEs, and have contributed to a more coordinated, timely and predictable approach to humanitarian response to the flood and cyclone emergencies.
While the Government of Mozambique prioritised the allocation of funds for the disaster response to the floods and cyclone emergencies, national resources are not sufficient to meet the humanitarian needs of the affected populations. The international humanitarian community in Mozambique has therefore been supporting national emergency response efforts through various resource mobilisation mechanisms. In the initial phase of the flood response, UN agencies and other humanitarian partners reprogrammed existing resources to meet the emergency needs. The Humanitarian Country Team in then jointly developed a request for humanitarian assistance to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) managed by the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC). The ERC allocated $10.76 million to the response, enabling the humanitarian community in Mozambique to scale up immediate response activities in support of overall Government coordination and response efforts.
The Mozambique Flash Appeal represents a portion of the intermediate financial needs required by Cluster partners to continue key life-saving humanitarian activities in response to the flood and cyclone emergencies. The priority initiatives included in this appeal were identified through a consultative process within and between the nine Clusters created, as well as with the INGC and line ministry counterparts. The initiatives are based on data deriving from preliminary rapid assessments and ongoing multi-sector assessments conducted jointly by government counterparts, UN agencies, national and international non-governmental partners in affected areas.
It is important to note that the needs contained in the Mozambique Flash Appeal do not represent the entirety of requirements for the floods and cyclone emergency response. Individual UN agencies and partners are investing their own emergency resources in the humanitarian response, but the pledges and commitments received from donors in-country and globally thus far do not meet the totality of the needs as outlined in this appeal. (The appeal aims to count all suitably high-priority and coordinated project proposals. Organisations that have not counted their proposed projects in this common appeal may still do so anytime; the added projects and funding will be reflected on line.)
Though water levels continue to decrease in flood-affected areas, and clean-up and restoration of services has begun in cyclone-affected areas, it is not yet clear how long populations will remain displaced and in need of assistance.
While the Humanitarian Country Team’s response plan focuses mainly on relief and early recovery, the Government of Mozambique launched a reconstruction plan on 05 March 2007 to address recovery issues in the disaster-affected areas. The overall objectives of the $70.9 million plan are to reduce vulnerability of affected populations, and restore normality to the social and economic conditions of natural disaster-affected areas through continued humanitarian and resettlement assistance, the restoration of agricultural and economic activity, and the rehabilitation of basic services and infrastructures. Sectors addressed in the Government Plan include: Education, Health, Agriculture, and Water. The plan also provides a framework for the relocation and resettlement of populations currently sheltered in accommodation centres – including the provision of land, tools and construction materials, as well as special assistance to the most vulnerable populations (e.g. female-headed households, orphaned and vulnerable children and their caregivers, the chronically ill and the disabled, etc.).
The Humanitarian Country Team in Mozambique will continue to support relief efforts, assisting affected populations while they remain in accommodation centres, and as they transition towards longer-term recovery and rehabilitation. It has also been agreed within the Humanitarian Country Team that efforts should be strengthened to more effectively address early recovery needs, in order to ensure a smooth transition from relief to recovery and reconstruction. Coordination mechanisms will be reinforced between the Humanitarian Country Team and national and international development partners to create improved linkages between early recovery and development. Capacity will also be strengthened to ensure an effective development response to the medium- and long-term aspects of Government early recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation plans.