UK to provide £6m of aid for hundreds of thousands hit by cyclone in Mozambique and Malawi

Britain has pledged to provide up to £6 million of aid  to support the victims of a devastating cyclone and torrential rains which may have left more than a thousand people dead in Mozambique and Malawi.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said a team of experts was on the ground in Mozambique helping to co-ordinate the UK’s response.

The UN estimate that 600,000 people are affected in Mozambique and 900,000 in Malawi.

The United Kingdom will also send tents and thousands of shelter kits to Mozambique to help provide immediate shelter to those that have been forced to flee their homes.

Filipe Nyusi, the president of Mozambique, said more than 1,000 people are feared dead in the country four days after the cyclone hit.

Ms Mordaunt said: “I have made £6 million of UK aid available to help meet the immediate needs of people who have lost everything.

“We have deployed a UK team of Dfid experts who are now on the ground in Mozambique helping to co-ordinate the UK’s response to this disaster, and we hope to have vital UK aid supplies in the region shortly. We stand ready to scale up our support if needed.

“The images of loss and devastation following this deadly cyclone and extreme weather are shocking. The people of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe should know that they are firmly in our thoughts at this difficult time, and that the UK stands by their side.”

Cyclone Idai made landfall close to the port city of Beira on Thursday with winds of up to 106 mph, but aid teams only reached the city on Sunday.

The Red Cross said that 90 percent of Beira, a city of 500,000, had been damaged or destroyed.