Deutsche Post DHL Group has deployed its Disaster Response Team to Beira, Mozambique, to provide assistance following cyclone Idai.
The cyclone struck on 14 – 15 March, making landfall in Mozambique and neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The storms and flooding have caused widespread damage and destruction, with thousands of people being made homeless in Mozambique, with electricity supply being sporadic and large swathes of the country being cut off from the outside world.
The DRT have been deployed to provide assistance at Beira, where they will advise airport personnel and coordinate incoming humanitarian aid for non-governmental organisations.
The first DRT deployment to Africa is headed by Chris Week, director for humanitarian affairs, accompanying teams of volunteers from the UAE, Mozambique and South Africa.
The United Nations and other humanitarian organisations have deployed staff to Beira, helping organise safe options for onward transport.
Week says not much aid is coming in but the United Nations has allocated $20 million to provide humanitarian help.
He says: “We have been here since the start of the week. One and a half weeks after the disaster, conditions in this part of Mozambique remain critical. The rain hasn’t let up, the floodwater can’t drain away and the river continues to rise.”
The airport is processing aid such as water, food, tents, fuel, medical supplies, and technical equipment.
They are sorted and distributed in Beira as well as in rural areas and other places affected by the cyclone.
Week says: “It’s hard to estimate the full extent of the damage and destruction caused. We’ll no doubt see follow-on effects over the next few days – such as outbreaks of diseases like malaria, which is fostered by stagnant water and increases the need for medical supplies. Our team is standing by to help.”