Mozambique Cyclone and Flooding Emergency: WFP Ramps up Response

Photo: AP/IFRC/Denis Onyodi
Published March 20, 2019

BEIRA – The United Nations World Food Programme stepped up food distributions in and around Beira on Wednesday, with more airdrops of high-energy biscuits (HEBs) to isolated pockets of people stranded by the floodwaters and the delivery of easy-to-prepare fortified food to displaced families sheltering in schools and other public buildings in the town of Dondo, 45 kilometers north east of the port city.

Infants, children and elderly people hoisted to safety from rooftops across the vast floodplains and airlifted to Beira were also given HEBs, used in emergencies as they are nutritious, easy to transport, and don’t need cooking. The biscuits are part of a 20-ton consignment flown into Beira on Sunday from a WFP-run UN emergency response depot in Dubai. A peanut-based micro-nutrient rich paste to prevent and treat malnutrition is also being distributed.

An MI-8 transport helicopter contracted by the WFP-run United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) arrived in Beira Wednesday to support rescue and relief operations – the first of three helicopters due to arrive there this week.

The procurement and dispatch of large quantities of food for the Mozambique crisis continued elsewhere in southern Africa, including cereals, vegetable oil, and fortified blends from South Africa and Zambia.

The immense, wide-ranging international response has been facilitated by the government’s declaration on Tuesday of Mozambique’s first ever national emergency.


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The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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For more information please contact (email address:

Gerald Bourke, WFP/Beira, Mob/whatsapp +27 82 90 81 417

Deborah Nguyen, WFP/Beira, Mob : +258 86 505 6300 / whatsapp +33 652 89 76 44

Milton Machel, PMA/Maputo, Mob. + 258823196150, whatsapp +258 842979581

Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Mob. +39 346 7600521

Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 (0)20 3857 7411, Mob. +44 (0)7968 008474

Herve Verhoosel, WFP/Geneva, Mob. +41 798428057

Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-653-1149, Mob. +1-202-774-4026

Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob.  +1-202-770-5993