Southern Africa: U.S. Responds to Cyclone Idai with Assistance

Praia Nova Village was one of the most affected neighborhoods in Beira. Being a located on the coast, this shanty town of loosely built homes were extremely vulnerable to the high winds and rain. Following the cyclone families are returning trying to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Excerpts from Department Press Briefing by Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson

Yesterday the United States announced nearly 3.4 million in emergency humanitarian food assistance in response to Cyclone Idai and related flooding in Mozambique. This is the worst natural disaster in Southern Africa in nearly two decades.

QUESTION: I’m sorry, you said 3.4 million what? Dollars, pounds, tons?

MR PALLADINO: 3.4 million dollars --


MR PALLADINO: -- in emergency humanitarian food assistance. This is the worst natural disaster in Southern Africa in nearly two decades. The United States Agency for International Development is already on the ground. They have a 13-person Disaster Assistance Response Team that is delivering relief supplies to inaccessible areas. The Department of Defense is also supporting the response by providing airlift and logistics support.

The United States Government continues to assess humanitarian needs and coordinate response efforts with the Government of Mozambique and humanitarian organizations. More than 440 people have died as a result of the storm, and more than 600,000 people are in need of assistance. Our thoughts are with the people of Mozambique.

[Full transcript of briefing:

CJTF-HOA Commanding General Arrives in Mozambique to Support Cyclone Idai Relief Efforts

U.S. Africa Command, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti -- U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James D. Craig, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa commanding general, arrived in the Republic of Mozambique March 25, 2019, to get a first-hand look at the devastation Cyclone Idai caused throughout the region earlier this month.

The general met with U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Dennis W. Hearne, members of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team, and a forward coordinating element of CJTF-HOA members who were already on site to discuss the post-storm crisis situation in the Republic of Mozambique and surrounding areas.

U.S. Africa Command designated CJTF-HOA as the lead for U.S. Department of Defense, Cyclone Idai relief efforts in support of USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team – the lead federal coordinator for the U.S. Government’s international disaster response effort.

“We are working in support of the USAID-led interagency team and the international community to provide efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Government of the Republic of Mozambique,” Craig said. “We are responding as quickly and safely as possible to help bring relief from the devastation.”

The task force is set to help meet requirements identified by USAID assessment teams and humanitarian organizations working in the region by providing logistics support and manpower to USAID at the request of the Government of the Republic of Mozambique.

Teams from CJTF-HOA are scheduled to airlift food, medical supplies and other relief materials and provide aircrew, communications and other staff members to support the crisis response efforts.

“Our service members are highly trained, and provide unique military capabilities and expertise that will support U.S. Government humanitarian assistance efforts,” said Craig. “We care about the people of Mozambique and are focused on supporting USAID to ensure a comprehensive response to this crisis.”

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