The Mozambican government’s relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), has estimated that it needs 13 million US dollars a month to aid victims of the drought in the southern and central provinces.

INGC Director Joao Machatine told media conference here Monday that about 1.5 million people were currently in a situation of food insecurity, of whom 1.3 million already needed food aid.

Speaking at the end of a meeting with the INGC’s cooperation partners, where ideas were discussed about drawing up a plan to respond to the emergency and raise support, he said: “We need to draw up a joint plan of response between the government and the partners.

“At this meeting the partners said they are willing to provide assistance within their windows of support, and to mobilise the necessary resources.”

The meeting follows recently concluded work to update the statistics which showed that the number of people in food insecurity was much higher than previous estimates, which put it at around 315,000 people. The INGC had been using this lower estimate as the basis for its work.

The meeting also decided that within a week the partners should inform the INGC how much aid they were prepared to provide.

Some pledges are already known, with Machatine saying that the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) offering to support the water supply programme, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) providing food aid for 700,000 affected people for a year.

The Italian government is finalizing a proposal to support those affected by the drought in the southern province of Inhambane, and other partners have promised to announce their support in the near future.

The World Bank, Machatine said, is ready to support all the drought stricken provinces — Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Sofala, Tete and the southern part of Zambezia.

“The largest number of affected people is in Tete, followed by Sofala, Gaza, Manica and Maputo,” he added.

Maputo downplayed the localized flooding in the northern provinces. He revised the number of those affected by these floods downwards, to 10,000, and said the situation in the north was now under control.

Source: NNN-AIM