Mozambique: Australia Announces Cyclone Aid

Maputo — The Australian government has announced a donation of two million US dollars for humanitarian relief, in the wake of cyclone Idai, which devastated central Mozambique in mid-March.

The outgoing Australian High Commissioner, Adam MacCarthy, made the announcement on Wednesday, at a meeting with President Filipe Nyusi, where he bade farewell to the President after a four year diplomatic mission.

The Australian aid is to be used exclusively to acquire food and medicines for the people affected by the cyclone.

At Wednesday's meeting, MacCarthy also promised that the Australian government will continue to provide post-graduate scholarships for Mozambican students.

"To date, our government has provided 236 post-graduate scholarships for Mozambicans", he said. "I informed the President that our government will continue to provide these scholarships. I told him that Mozambique is a country that produces first class students, and that Australia is very proud to offer these scholarships to Mozambican students".

Meanwhile the Norwegian government has announced that it will grant five million dollars to support the second planting campaign, of peasant households who lost their first season crops to the cyclone and ensuing floods.

The Norwegian ambassador, Anne Lene Dale, told Radio Mozambique in Beira that the money will be used to rehabilitate irrigation systems, and to acquire agricultural inputs, benefitting about 800,000 producers.

Mozambican Agriculture Minister Higino Marrule said the support from Norway launches new hope among peasant farmers in the centre of the country, who saw almost all their crops planted in the first season washed away by the floods.

"Support in recovering these irrigation schemes will be fundamental for increasing agricultural production and productivity", he declared.

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