HC Deb 12 March 2001 vol 364 c424W
Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations her Department has received from Mozambique about the impact of recent floods; what response has been made; and if she will make a statement. [152266]

Clare Short

Following the immediate relief operation in response to last year's catastrophic floods in Mozambique, my Department has remained engaged in rehabilitation as well as in developing new measures, via the United Nations system, to strengthen both UN and Government of Mozambique contingency arrangements for future disasters. Over the past few months DFID, FCO, MOD, the RNLI and the UK Fire Service have been working together to prepare contingency plans for different emergency scenarios. In addition, we have continued to work closely with the Government of Mozambique's National Directorate of Water to set up early warning flood systems with the UK Met Office.

Following the onset of the current floods, we have switched gear to immediate response operations which are deliberately aimed at preventative rescue and relief, i.e. extricating people before the worst hits them and there is substantial loss of life and suffering. In addition to contributing £250.000 to the Red Cross appeal for Mozambique. we are currently: funding two Puma helicopters which are busy moving people from the riskiest areas and transporting urgent relief supplies; providing three logisticians to World Food Programme to assist in its operational response; providing a humanitarian specialist in Beira to reinforce DFID presence on the ground and conduct field assessments.