UK Pledges £6m Of Aid To East Africa Cyclone Victims

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Britain has pledged up to £6 million of aid to send humanitarian relief to people affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said a team of experts was on the ground in Mozambique helping to co-ordinate the UK’s response.

Tents and thousands of shelter kits will be sent to the country on Tuesday, and Ms Mordaunt said the UK stands ready to “scale up our support if needed”.

Around 600,000 people in Mozambique and 900,000 in Malawi are thought to have been affected by the cyclone, according to United Nations estimates.

A state of emergency has been declared in Zimbabwe.

Filipe Nyusi, the president of Mozambique, said more than 1,000 people are feared dead in the country four days after the cyclone struck.

Entire villages were submerged and bodies left floating in the floodwaters in the wake of the natural disaster.

Aid supplies are loaded onto an RAF transport plane following Hurricane Irma
The RAF helped provide aid in response to Hurricane Irma in 2017 (Picture: MOD).
Ms Mordaunt said: “I have made £6 million of UK aid available to help meet the immediate needs of people who have lost everything.

“We have deployed a UK team of DFID experts who are now on the ground in Mozambique helping to co-ordinate the UK’s response to this disaster, and we hope to have vital UK aid supplies in the region shortly.

“We stand ready to scale up our support if needed.

She added:

“The images of loss and devastation following this deadly cyclone and extreme weather are shocking.

“The people of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe should know that they are firmly in our thoughts at this difficult time, and that the UK stands by their side.”

In September 2017, British residents were killed, homes were destroyed and infrastructure was damaged when Irma and Maria, two of the most powerful hurricanes for decades, struck Barbados, Antigua and Montserrat.

The Ministry of Defence has said it is supporting other Government departments to ensure that similar devastation is not repeated.

RFA Mounts Bay has been in the Caribbean since Irma struck and will remain there until 2020 to help restore the islands to normal.