GENEVA / CYCLONE IDAI UPDATE IFRC

25-Mar-2019 00:02:37
Efforts are continuing to reach all victims of Cyclone Idai in southern Africa where a senior relief chief has warned of a “water, sanitation and hygiene ticking bomb”, while appealing for a much greater level of assistance than was first envisaged. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / CYCLONE IDAI UPDATE IFRC
TRT: 2:37
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 MARCH 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, Press Room I
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“We flew over many - what used to be - forests but you could not even see the trees. And trees as high as 10 metres, you know, were all under water. You can imagine if those high trees are under water, not talking about the houses in which people are living in.”
4. Wide shot, press room, journalists.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“Jumping up in your eyes, these kinds of disasters do affect disproportionately, women and children. The number of children really that are suffering from all kinds of multiple deprivations. And of course, the worst is the children crying and looking for their parents, either because they’re just in a different shelter, hopefully, or unfortunately, they may have died.”
6. Med shot, journalists
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“We realized very, very quickly that this is not going to be anywhere near the scale and magnitude to make any difference, so we are tripling that appeal now to 30 million Swiss francs, that will allow us to reach 200,000 people in need.”
8. Close up, camera monitor
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“The transit and shelter facilities, they are not good, to be very honest. Some of them are even horrendous. One of them that I visited, was in a school; 3,000 people in a school of 15 classrooms, and the school itself is half-flooded and there are only six toilets for all those people. So it’s not an exaggeration when I say that we are really sitting here on a water, sanitation and hygiene ticking bomb.”
10. Close up, speaker
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“We are making an extra effort to go to those that are hardest to reach and those that are most vulnerable, and those of course, will include the elderly, female-headed households, the children, the disabled. These are often times, the ones that are left behind.”
12. Med shot, journalists, cameras
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“These are very, very, very vulnerable people: very vulnerable children, very vulnerable young girls and women. If we do not do something, then we should not then be surprised and then feel sorry afterwards that something happened.”
14. Close up, journalist
15. Med shot, journalists, panel
16. Wide shot, journalists, panel
STORYLINE
Efforts are continuing to reach all victims of Cyclone Idai in southern Africa where a senior relief chief has warned of a “water, sanitation and hygiene ticking bomb”, while appealing for a much greater level of assistance than was first envisaged.

Latest reports indicate that the death toll has risen to more than 400 in Mozambique alone, with a further 300 fatalities in Zimbabwe and Malawi.

In Geneva, Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), today (25 Mar) said that an estimated 300 square kilometres of land had been destroyed or submerged when 150 kilometre-per-hour winds and floodwaters swept across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on the night of 14 March.

In partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other UN agencies, IFRC is working with the authorities to provide assistance.

Describing his visit to Mozambique last Friday, As Sy said, “we flew over many - what used to be - forests but you could not even see the trees,” adding that “trees as high as 10 metres, you know, were all under water. You can imagine if those high trees are under water, not talking about the houses in which people are living in.”

Needs are huge for all those affected by the disaster, particularly given the widespread poverty and lack of development in the affected countries.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable, As Sy explained, after his visit to Beira, the port city where Idai made landfall.

He said, “jumping up in your eyes, these kinds of disasters do affect disproportionately, women and children,” adding that “the number of children really that are suffering from all kinds of multiple deprivations. And of course, the worst is the children crying and looking for their parents, either because they’re just in a different shelter, hopefully, or unfortunately, they may have died.”

An initial IFRC appeal for CHF 10 million has had to be revised after “we realized very, very quickly that this is not going to be anywhere near the scale and magnitude to make any difference”, As Sy said, adding that “so we are tripling that appeal now to 30 million Swiss francs, that will allow us to reach 200,000 people in need.”

Praising the courage and professionalism of countless boat-owners who rescued thousands of people from flooded areas, the IFRC top official expressed concern over the lack of adequate shelter and basic services for survivors in Beira – Mozambique’s second city.

He added, “the transit and shelter facilities, they are not good, to be very honest. Some of them are even horrendous. One of them that I visited, was in a school; 3,000 people in a school of 15 classrooms, and the school itself is half-flooded and there are only six toilets for all those people. So it’s not an exaggeration when I say that we are really sitting here on a water, sanitation and hygiene ticking bomb.”

Amid concerns that the death toll is likely to rise as the floodwaters recede, the IFRC official insisted that everything possible was being done to get help to where it was needed most.

As Sy said, “we are making an extra effort to go to those that are hardest to reach and those that are most vulnerable, and those of course, will include the elderly, female-headed households, the children, the disabled. These are often times, the ones that are left behind.”

Underlining the importance of ensuring that protection of victims is as important as providing food and safe water and sanitation facilities, As Sy explained that sexual exploitation was common in such situations – although he had not received any reports of abuse yet.

He said, “these are very, very, very vulnerable people: very vulnerable children, very vulnerable young girls and women. If we do not do something, then we should not then be surprised and then feel sorry afterwards that something happened.”
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