GENEVA / CYCLONE IDAI RESPONSE UPDATE

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22-Mar-2019 00:03:09
As the destructive scale of Tropical Cyclone Idai unfolds, the UN has appealed for urgent assistance from the international community at a crucial moment in the humanitarian response. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / CYCLONE IDAI RESPONSE UPDATE
TRT: 3:09
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 22 MARCH 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, Press Room III
3. Med shot, journalists
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“In Mozambique, the official death toll has risen to at least 242 people according to the Government, but many areas remain inundated and tragically the counting of the dead will take some time. So we do expect the death toll to rise as that progresses.”
5. Close up, journalist typing
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Some 11,400 houses have been completely destroyed and crop losses are extensive; in fact more than 385,000 hectares of crops have been damaged, which will impact food security in the months ahead.”
7. Med shot, journalists writing, podium in the background
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokesperson, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“840,300 people are affected in Malawi, half of them, we believe, are children. 250,000 people are affected in Zimbabwe, half of them are children, and the same for Mozambique.”
9. Close up, journalists typing
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“In Beira city itself, the epicentre of the crisis in Mozambique, the roofs of most of the houses have gone, there’s destruction to schools, there’s destruction to houses of worship, destruction to factories. The city is still without power, food prices have reportedly tripled with long queues forming for staples such as for bread and for fuel.”
11. Med shot, journalist
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokesperson, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“The Executive Director described the scene on the ground as desperate, stating that the situation on the ground, and I quote her, I’m quoting her, ‘The situation on the ground remains critical and there is no electricity or running water. Hundreds of thousands of children need immediate help. The priority right now is to give them shelter, food, water, education, protection.’”
13. Close up, journalists
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“In Buzi, south-west of Beira city, we are starting to see some of the flood waters go down but there is still risk of secondary floods and the situation may still worsen. Many people from Buzi have been relocated through search and rescue to other areas but for those that remain, we need to get them by any means possible.”
15. Med shot, TV cameras
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, Spokesperson, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“While search and rescue operations continue, there is also an urgent need of food, safe drinking water and shelter. Right now we are seeing thousands of people congregating in informal, improvised camps. Many of these informal camps are in desperate conditions.”
17. Med shot, journalists
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“There are simple, if you like, physical challenges to getting at a more precise, fine-grain picture of what the situation is, and what the needs are, so we can respond to them comprehensively.”
19. Various shots, journalists

STORYLINE:

As the destructive scale of Tropical Cyclone Idai unfolds, the UN has appealed for urgent assistance from the international community at a “crucial moment” in the humanitarian response.

One week after the storm swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe with wind speeds in excess of 150 kilometres per hour, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), vast areas remain under water and search and rescue missions are ongoing.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (22 Mar), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesperson Jens Laerke said, “in Mozambique, the official death toll has risen to at least 242 people according to the Government, but many areas remain inundated and tragically the counting of the dead will take some time,” adding that “we do expect the death toll to rise as that progresses.”

According to OCHA, 12 helicopters are involved in operations from the UN and other nations.

Thirty boats are also involved in the rescue effort, funded by the World Food Programme (WFP).

In Zimbabwe, authorities have reported 139 deaths and 189 people missing following flooding and the cyclone, while more than 4,300 people have been displaced.

While the search for survivors continues, field assessments have indicated the devastating scale of the immediate and long-term needs in Mozambique.

Laerke said, “some 11,400 houses have been completely destroyed and crop losses are extensive,” adding that “in fact, more than 385,000 hectares of crops have been damaged, which will impact food security in the months ahead.”

UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson Christophe Boulierac shared the latest data on the official number of people impacted by the cyclone, noting that “840,300 people are affected in Malawi, half of them, we believe, are children; 250,000 people are affected in Zimbabwe, half of them are children, and the same for Mozambique.”

In the Mozambican port of Beira, the situation is critical, OCHA’s Jens Laerke explained.

He said, “in Beira city itself, the epicentre of the crisis in Mozambique, the roofs of most of the houses have gone,” he said. “There’s destruction to schools, there’s destruction to houses of worship, destruction to factories. The city is still without power, food prices have reportedly tripled with long queues forming for staples such as for bread and for fuel.”

Outside Beira, the situation is still desperate for many.

Laerke explained, “in Buzi, south-west of Beira city, we are starting to see some of the flood waters go down but there is still risk of secondary floods and the situation may still worsen.”

He added, “many people from Buzi have been relocated through search and rescue to other areas but for those that remain, we need to get them by any means possible.”

UNICEF Chief Executive Henrietta Fore declared the situation “critical” in a visit to Mozambique, spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said.

He stated, “the Executive Director described the scene on the ground as desperate, stating that the situation on the ground, and I quote her, I’m quoting her, ‘The situation on the ground remains critical and there is no electricity or running water. Hundreds of thousands of children need immediate help. The priority right now is to give them shelter, food, water, education, protection.’”

In worst-hit Mozambique, according to OCHA, at least 65,000 people are sheltering in more than 100 temporary sites across the provinces of Sofala (73), Manica (18), Zambezia (10) and Tete (4). Most people have found refuge in schools and churches.

UNICEF’s Boulierac added that while search and rescue operations continue, “there is also an urgent need of food, safe drinking water and shelter. Right now we are seeing thousands of people congregating in informal, improvised camps. Many of these informal camps are in desperate conditions.”

Highlighting the challenges that still remain in getting help to those who need it most, OCHA’s Jens Laerke described “there are simple, if you like, physical challenges to getting at a more precise, fine-grain picture of what the situation is, and what the needs are, so we can respond to them comprehensively.”

The World Food Programme (WFP) also underlined the critical need for funding from countries and concerned individuals. In Mozambique alone, the agency is seeking more than $121 million to help 1.7 million people affected through the next three months.
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