SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY CONCERNED AT RAPIDLY DETERIORATING FLOOD SITUATION IN MOZAMBIQUE
Appeals to Governments and Private Sector to Respond Urgently
NEW YORK, 8 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the rapidly deteriorating flood situation in Mozambique, which has affected some 450,000 persons in four provinces, causing the deaths, to date, of 75 people. Water levels continue to rise in the Zambezi River basin and, with a tropical storm predicted to strike the country this weekend, Mozambique is inches away from a humanitarian disaster. Despite the continuing efforts of the Government, United Nations agencies, and other humanitarian partners, some 50,000 people may need urgent evacuation.
The Secretary-General appeals to governments and the private sector with the capacity to position marine and helicopter assets in central Mozambique to respond urgently.
The Secretary-General also wishes to draw attention to the United Nations Inter-Agency Appeal for $10.7 million launched yesterday in Maputo in support of the Government's appeal for emergency assistance and urges donors to react expeditiously and generously.
The Secretary-General has assured the Government of Mozambique of the commitment of the United Nations to lending its full and continuing support to deal with the ongoing relief effort and this potential tragedy.
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