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U.S. Embassy Statement on Cyclone Kenneth

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The U.S. Embassy in Mozambique expresses its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives over the past week due to the destruction and flooding caused by Cyclone Kenneth.  The People of the United States stand with the People of Cabo Delgado Province, and the U.S. Government will continue to work closely with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique to provide the financial and material support necessary to save lives, alleviate suffering, and rebuild communities destroyed by Cyclone Kenneth.

To that end, the U.S. Government has already initiated emergency relief activities in Cabo Delgado Province.  Advance elements from a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team are already on the ground and working closely to support assessments being conducted by the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) and the United Nations.  Similarly, personnel from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are already in Cabo Delgado alongside their Mozambican government counterparts, working to establish a surveillance system to prevent and contain outbreaks of water and vector-borne diseases such as cholera and malaria.

U.S. Government implementing partners are already distributing food, blankets, and plastic sheeting to those affected by Cyclone Kenneth.  As of April 30, we had already reached 14,600 people with food assistance, including maize, peas, oil, salt, and high-energy biscuits.  To assist with shelter needs, the U.S. Government has already provided enough heavy-duty plastic sheeting to reach 6,000 people, as well as 15,000 blankets, 10,000 buckets, and 5,400 water containers.  To help communities reestablish clean drinking water supplies, the U.S. Government has provided four water bladder kits to be used in the impacted regions.  These immediate efforts are only the start of U.S. Government assistance for those affected by Cyclone Kenneth, and we are already working to provide additional food, shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies to the people of Cabo Delgado.

The United States recognizes that the community reconstruction and economic livelihoods challenges posed by Cyclone Kenneth will be immense.  As an initial means of assistance, the U.S. Government has obtained an additional $2.5 million in assistance for the northern area of Cabo Delgado Province.  That will supplement $21 million in annual assistance already committed to health and development programs in Cabo Delgado Province.  These funds will be devoted to working directly with communities as they seek to address these challenges.  The U.S. Government is committed to a robust partnership with the Mozambican Government on recovery and reconstruction challenges in the region.

Taken together, Cyclone Kenneth and Cyclone Idai represent the most significant natural disaster in Southern Africa in recent memory.  As the world’s largest donor of humanitarian assistance, the United States is committed to continuing to play a leading role in international efforts to assist the Mozambican Government and its people as they seek to recover from these cyclones.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Mozambique.