Millwood, Virginia, March 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Project HOPE is on the ground in Mozambique assessing the immediate needs of thousands of women, children and men impacted by a deadly cyclone which hit the country late last week. Torrential rains, extreme winds and severe flooding have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and potentially destroyed large swaths of crops right before harvest.

“This is likely the deadliest storm to hit Mozambique in 50 years and requires a strong, urgent international response,” says Chris Skopec, vice president of Global Health at Project HOPE. “The damage is so extensive that right now we don’t even know how many people are in tents. With little access to clean water, we are very concerned about the spread of cholera. And potential fuel shortages threaten the ability to keep vaccines and essential medicines refrigerated.”

According to government officials, some 1,000 people are feared dead, and an estimated 1.7 million women, children and men are severely impacted by catastrophic flooding and other effects of the deadly storm. Many affected communities continue to be completely inaccessible as heavy rainfall and winds have caused severe flooding and damaged roads and bridges. The storm comes right before harvest season and the destruction could further worsen food insecurity in parts of the country.

With its local partner KUKUMBI, Project HOPE will work in the hard-hit communities of Mocuba, Nicoadala and Namcurra, where shelters are already open. The global health organization anticipates meeting urgent health care needs through mobile and fixed health clinics. In addition, it is working quickly to provide access to clean drinking water, construct emergency latrines to stave the spread of disease and train communities on hygiene and sanitation.

Project HOPE has been on the ground in Mozambique since 1997 implementing critically needed health programs. The organization responded to heavy floods in 2000 by delivering more than $5 million in pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and helping establish a rapid response system in Zambezia. To support our response in Mozambique, visit projecthope.org/Mozambique.

About PROJECT HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leader in global health and humanitarian relief programs. An international non-profit organization, we are committed to transforming lives and uplifting communities by empowering health care workers to teach and deliver innovative, lifesaving solutions, every day and in times of crisis. With programs in nearly 30 countries, we work at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges including infectious and noncommunicable diseases; disasters and health crises; maternal, neonatal and child health; and the policies that impact how health care is delivered.  Learn more at www.projecthope.org.  

Christine Nyirjesy Bragale
Project HOPE
(202) 834-7900
CBragale@projecthope.org