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African Commission on
Human and Peoples' Rights

Press Release on Cyclone Idai and the subsequent flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right’s country Rapporteurs for the Republics of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Honourable Commissioner Maria Teresa Manuela, Honourable Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor and Honourable Commissioner Jamesina L King, together with the Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa, Honourable Commissioner Maya Sahli Fadel are deeply saddened over the disastrous flooding caused by Cyclone Idai, leaving thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced throughout the three countries.

The Commission expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives and the missing. Our thoughts are also with the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their homes and livelihood.

The Commission stands in solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in these difficult and trying times.

The Commission is particularly concerned about the impact of the flood to women and girls who usually bear the brunt of such disasters, to the extent that access to resources, including shelter, food and other opportunities is systematically disadvantaged to this group of people, rendering them more vulnerable to the impact of the disaster. This is also compounded by the specific vulnerability of women and girls with respect to mortality from such floods and their aftermath. In light of this, the Commission calls on the Governments of the concerned States, to attend to the special needs of women and girls during these difficult times and ensure that they have access to all relief opportunities and strategies. While internally displaced persons issues are primary State responsibilities, in cases of national disasters, the support of all stakeholders are crucial.

The Commission expresses its gratitude to the many countries, agencies, institutions and individuals, who have provided humanitarian aid to the affected countries since the natural disaster struck. 

We commend all the national and international rescue teams who have been working tirelessly to rescue thousands of people, as well as, to those who have provided shelter, food, water, sanitation and basic commodities to the affected people.

The Commission therefore calls on all African and international communities who have not yet done so to support the ongoing efforts and provide additional support mechanisms to the people affected by the cyclone, in order to mitigate the impact of the natural disaster.

​ Banjul, The Gambia 8 April 2019