Singapore Red Cross donating $121k for relief efforts

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) will be donating US$90,000 (S$121,000) towards emergency relief operations in Mozambique, after hundreds were killed in a powerful cyclone and flooding there last week.

In a statement yesterday, the SRC said the amount will be used to provide shelter, healthcare, water and sanitation.

The relief operations of the Red Cross Movement are led by the Mozambique Red Cross, Malawi Red Cross and Zimbabwe Red Cross.

SRC secretary-general and chief executive Benjamin William said the society has been monitoring the situation after Cyclone Idai hit the port city of Beira and swept through central Mozambique last Thursday.

He said: "The full extent of the devastation is still unfolding - with thousands of people still stranded and awaiting rescue. Relief efforts are currently ongoing, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

"SRC will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with our sister national societies to ascertain the immediate to mid-term needs, and to provide further support where needed."

The SRC has also placed a disaster response team on standby to be deployed, should there be a need. The team is trained in psycho-social support, water and sanitation, and relief distribution.

The SRC is in touch with the Red Cross Movement on the ground to offer support for shelter kits and non-food items, as well as food distribution, and health and hygiene promotion.

Cyclone Idai is one of the worst tropical cyclones to affect Africa in decades. It made landfall in southern Africa over the weekend.

"The death toll in Mozambique and neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi has risen to more than 400, but the figure could be much higher," the SRC said.

It added that an estimated 2.6 million people are in need of assistance, with numerous houses damaged and many destroyed.

Many areas are also badly flooded, with electricity and communications cut off.

There has also been extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure, making access to the affected communities even more challenging, the SRC said.

It added that the priority would be for these communities to get assistance as soon as possible.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore Red Cross donating $121k for relief efforts'. Subscribe