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UN launches first food aid flights in wake of Cyclone Kenneth

The World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday confirmed the departure of the first helicopter to deliver emergency food aid to Mozambique’s northern coast since Cyclone Kenneth struck the region recently.

“With Cyclone Kenneth hitting at the peak of the harvest season, the short, mid and long-term availability of food is worrisome,’’ WFP Spokesman, Herve Verhoosel said at a news conference in Geneva.

The UN food agency has planned to provide emergency food support for the next three months.

Even before the first air delivery, food supplies have been delivered to 11,500 people by land after the cyclone barrelled into northern Mozambique.

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“More rains are expected in the coming days, which will worsen flooding, damage to roads and render humanitarian access more challenging,’’ Verhoosel said.

According to the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), no fewer than 38 persons have been killed and almost 170,000 people have been affected by the tropical storm that has damaged thousands of homes.

Cyclone Kenneth delivered another blow to Mozambique after Cyclone Idai killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands in the country in March. (NAN)