Michele Lunsford

  • United Nations | Statement on Universal Health Coverage

    On Monday April 29, Dr. Alessandra Aresu, Inclusive Health Policy Lead for Humanity & Inclusion (Formerly Handicap International), and co-chair of the Inclusive Health Task Group of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), was set to deliver the following statement to the high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage at the United Nations, but was not able to after the meeting ran over its allotted time. The IDDC statement follows.

    On behalf of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), a consortium of 40 members active in 100 countries and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, including the right to health.  

    There are approximately one billion persons with disabilities globally, with numbers rising due to aging populations and increases in chronic and mental health conditions.

    Ensuring access to health for persons with disabilities is essential to achieve SDG3.

    The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Article 25 requires that State Parties take all appropriate measures to ensure persons with disabilities access disability and gender-sensitive health services, including rehabilitation and provide free or affordable health services covering the same range and quality as those provided to others.

    In reality, persons with disabilities often encounter physical, communication, attitudinal and financial barriers, as well as lack of information in accessing health services. According to WHO’s estimations,  50% of persons with disabilities globally cannot afford access to healthcare and are three times more likely to be denied health care.

    As countries work towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage, the lack of gender, age and disability disaggregated data is a major challenge for monitoring the equity gaps in health status and access to services.

    The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) recommends:

    1) To improve the availability and use of gender, age and disability disaggregated data on health status and access to services;

    2) To promote data dissemination to ensure appropriate planning and policies for equitable access to health.

    3) To adapt and provide health services for persons with disabilities ensuring accessible and affordable services and, most importantly, meaningful participation of persons with disabilities.


    Photo: Dr. Alessandra Aresu stands next to a Universal Health Coverage sign at UN HLM 2019 in NYC on April 29, 2019.

  • published Nepal | Four years after the quake in News 2019-04-24 16:15:05 -0400

    Nepal | Four years after the quake

    On April 25, 2015, the earth shook in Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring 22,000. Already present in the field, Humanity & Inclusion launched an immediate response in aid of those affected, providing assistance to more than 19,000 people.

    "Following the earthquake, HI helped many victims with fractures or musculoskeletal pain and longer-term injuries such as amputations and spinal cord injuries,” explains Willy Bergogne, Humanity & Inclusion’s director in Nepal. “We formed new partnerships with government authorities to ensure access to rehabilitation care for people living in remote and hard-to-reach districts.

    "Four years on and conditions are more stable for many patients, but we continue to provide rehabilitation care to those in need." 

    Your impact

    Since April 2015, our team has run more than 42,000 rehabilitation and psychological support sessions for more than 19,000 people and supplied 7,000 prostheses and orthotic devices to people with injuries. HI has also distributed more than 4,300 kits containing tents and cooking supplies to more than 2,200 families.

    Transporting aid to remote villages

    Humanity & Inclusion’s logistics team organized the storage and transport of more than 5,400 tons of humanitarian equipment to remote villages. In the Winter of 2015, our teams handed out warm clothes and blankets to more than 9,000 people.

    Supporting the most vulnerable

    More than 1,500 earthquake-affected households have been given financial support to set up new business activities such as goat breeding and small stores. Our organization also enabled the most vulnerable people to access additional humanitarian services, such as education and healthcare supplied by other organizations.

    In addition, our teams raised the awareness of more than 3,000 people to ensure the most vulnerable individuals are taken account in natural disaster risk management. We want to ensure that no one is forgotten. 

    Lasting support

    Humanity & Inclusion has a team of 80 people in Nepal. We support seven rehabilitation centers in the country, help earthquake casualties earn a living, and makes sure children with disabilities have access to school. Currently, HI is assisting victims of the recent March 2019 tornado.

    Learn more about the work we do in Nepal.


    Photo: Sudan Rimal, a physical therapist with HI, spends the day at a park in Nepal with earthquake survivors Nirmala and Khendo.

  • published Drones in Explosive Weapons 2019-04-23 10:50:06 -0400


    In places like Chad, Laos, and Colombia, mines and explosive remnants of war pose a daily threat to civilians. In fact, in 61 countries around the world, explosive ordnance post a real obstacle to development. Humanity & Inclusion, in conjunction with new technology companies, are testing drones to detect landmines and build a detailed picture of what’s on the ground—a revolution in mine clearance.

    Drones, which can map suspected hazardous areas remotely have the potential to revolutionize landmine clearance operations. If successful, drones would help target mine clearance areas more precisely and reduce the length of time it takes for teams to return contaminated land to civilians.

    "Drones can hopefully provide considerable assistance in demining by reducing tenfold the time it takes to implement non-technical surveys, a phase that consists in identifying and demarcating potentially hazardous areas requiring the intervention of demining teams,” explains Emmanuel Sauvage, Head of Armed Violence Reduction at Humanity & Inclusion. “This phase is sometimes longer than the mine clearance operations themselves. By providing accurate data for mapping areas to be cleared, the drones will also help us to deploy our mine-clearance teams in a more targeted way.”

    Clearing land and keeping people safe from weapons is at the core of our DNA. Innovation such as this is vital in order to meet the vast needs of mine clearance operations. In Chad alone, 39 square miles of land are contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war. Over the course of a 4-year project in Chad, Humanity & Inclusion and its partners destroyed more than 1,000 miles in Chad, and tested a drone mine detection system that will revolutionize mine clearance operations worldwide.

    In 2021, Humanity & Inclusion and its partners launched another drone test in Iraq to pilot the technology in a more mountainous region.

    Equipped with a camera, the drone gives a detailed picture of what’s on the ground, along with a set of data such as GPS coordinates. During the initial tests, the drone took a photo of the terrain every two meters. When assembled, the photos provide a highly detailed map.

    A detailed picture from a demining drone that shows what's on the ground, along with a set of data such as GPS coordinates.

    What is the optimal height for a drone? What type of drones should we use? What data is most useful to mine clearance experts? These are the sorts of questions we are asking in order to make the best use of this technology.”

    More images from our demining work in Chad

    Our drone operator prepares to send the drone over the desert landscape to see what's ahead


    Anti-tank mines found by the team


    Explosive devices buried in a hole before HI's demining team produced a controlled explosion


    A controlled explosion of the weapons the team found


  • Nepal | Tornado victims receive emergency rehabilitation care

    On March 31, a violent tornado struck the Bara and Parsa districts in southern Nepal, killing nearly 30 people and injuring more than 600 others. Officials estimate that more than 1,500 households were affected.

    To support the victims of the storm, Humanity & Inclusion is distributing mobility devices–crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers–and providing rehabilitation care to those injured. These activities are in collaboration with our partner rehabilitation center, the National Disabled Fund and Nepal Physiotherapy Association (NEPTA).

    "Our priority is to provide appropriate rehabilitation care to the injured in order to prevent them from developing a long-term disability and to enable them to regain their quality of life," explains Willy Bergogne, Humanity & Inclusion’s director in Nepal.

    Humanity & Inclusion in Nepal

    Humanity & Inclusion has been present in Nepal since 2000. Our team took immediate action to help victims of the earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015. We continue to deliver rehabilitation sessions and provide walking aids in the seven districts. In addition, our programs have diversified with additional focus on health and access to services such as inclusive livelihoods, inclusive education and community based disaster risk management. Learn more about the work we do in Nepal.

  • Mozambique | Bolstering support in Beira’s poverty-stricken communities

    Shortly after the cyclone struck Mozambique, Humanity & Inclusion’s Claude Briade visited some of the poorest areas of Beira. He describes the poverty-stricken communities: “Ramshackle housing, no regulation, poor hygiene, inadequate health infrastructure. In ‘normal’ times, life is extremely hard in these tangled alleys. What managed to emerge despite this poverty has been completely destroyed by Cyclone Idai.”


    For Lucia, a 38 year old single mother of five, the impact of the storm was devastating. In the photo above, she sits in front of what remains of her families’ home a few days after the cyclone. Lucia managed to salvage some possessions from the debris–clothes, a tarp, and bucket–but now faces the challenge of keeping the children dry in a home with no roof and protecting them from disease like cholera. 

    Cholera epidemic

    Cholera has since taken hold in districts like Lucia’s, with almost 5,000 confirmed cases. That’s why, Humanity & Inclusion will distribute hygiene kits, which include basic items such as hand and laundry soaps, to 8,000 families.

    Supporting the most vulnerable

    “Humanity & Inclusion has pledged to help the most vulnerable victims of the cyclone: people with disabilities, orphaned and chronically ill children and isolated seniors–many of which can be found in Beira’s forgotten poor communities.”

    Improving access to aid

    Emergency logistics colleagues are reinforcing capacity and working to open access points to rural areas shut off from humanitarian aid. Our team provided trucks and materials to clear 10 of Beira’s impoverished communities. Local residents are also employed to collect debris and clean the streets.

    In addition, HI will also distribute 2,500 shelter and repair kits in these districts to help people rebuild their destroyed homes.

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986, and is best known there for our work helping victims of landmines and other explosive ordnance left from the country’s civil war. We ran a large demining operation that wrapped up when the country declared itself mine free in 2015. Most recently, staff worked to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. 

    Learn more about our work in Mozambique.


    Photo: Lucia in front of the remains of her home, destroyed by Cyclone Idai.

  • Yemen | "I want to be a doctor and help people with disabilities"

    Fleeing bombs in Sana'a

    When he woke up in the hospital and realized his leg had been amputated, five-year-old Anwar began screaming. No one could calm his tears. He was inconsolable. Anwar could not understand why his leg disappeared and continued asking relatives if he could have it back.

    While fleeing the bombings alongside his family and neighbors in Sana’a, Anwar’s leg was hit by a shard of metal. Hours later, it was amputated.


    The trauma of amputation

    After being discharged from the hospital, Anwar continued to have significant pain and confusion. He eventually returned to school, but cut himself off from classmates and refused to take part in activities.

    The hospital staff provided him with a prosthesis, but it was too heavy, forcing him to use crutches, which considerably reduced his mobility.

    Rehabilitation care gives new hope

    When Humanity & Inclusion’s rehabilitation team in Yemen met Anwar a few months ago, the young boy, who is now nine-year-old, was scared and withdrawn. Aiman Al Mutawaki, a physical therapist with HI, provides special care to Anwar. He receives physical therapy and is being fit with a new prosthesis, which will be properly adapted to his size. This has given Anwar new hope.

    Anwar is particularly enthusiastic. In addition to physical therapy, he also receives psychological support from HI’s team. Therapy calms his anxiety. He also feels better knowing he is not alone–other people have also had amputations like him.

    Today, Anwar is more outgoing and plays with other children his age. At school, he draws, plays soccer with his friends, and studies hard. "I want to be a doctor,” he says. “I want to help people with disabilities and support my family.”

    Humanity & Inclusion and the Yemen crisis

    Humanity & Inclusion (which operates under the name Handicap International in Yemen) operated in the country from the early 2000s up to 2012, focusing on physical rehabilitation. Since returning in 2014, our mission has grown. Today, we provide direct services to individuals affected by the ongoing conflict, particularly people with disabilities, through rehabilitation care and psychosocial support at eight public health facilities in and around Sana’a city. Learn more about our work and the Yemen crisis.

  • Sri Lanka | Growing employment opportunities for people with disabilities

    For farmers living in small villages in Sri Lanka, income from milk sales alone isn't always enough to get by. Add a cow to milk, peanuts to grow, and a local store to run and it may seem impossible.

    For people with disabilities and vulnerable individuals, the challenge is greater. People with disabilities are struggle to find decent work due to discrimination. Humanity & Inclusion’s team is working hard to change this.  

    In collaboration with a local partner, Humanity & Inclusion’s team in Sri Lanka runs an economic inclusion project that aims to ensure that everyone benefits from economic growth. We promote the inclusion of vulnerable individuals in economic activities and coordinate training sessions for employers who are encouraged to take into account the most vulnerable individuals when hiring.

    As a result, nearly one hundred women have been hired by companies including Brandix, the country’s largest exporter of apparel. We educated 30 civil society organizations on the struggles faced by people with disabilities and showed them how they can support the growth of employment opportunities for these individuals.

    Building on this project, which is funded by the European Union, Humanity & Inclusion produced a publication on the inclusive local economy, including best practices, and recommendations for local authorities and NGOs. For more information, read the development toolkit

    Humanity & Inclusion in Sri Lanka

    Since 2004, Humanity & Inclusion has been providing assistance to victims of armed conflict, promoting social inclusion, and developing partnerships at all levels to implement and support national disability policies in the country. Learn more about our work in Sri Lanka.

  • published Rwanda | The genocide: 25 years later in News 2019-04-06 15:18:41 -0400

    Rwanda | The genocide: 25 years later

    April 7th marks 25 years since the horrific genocide in Rwanda began. Men, women, and children were tortured, raped, and massacred over a period of three months and more than 800,000 people died. The deep scars left by this senseless violence continue to be felt today. Nearly one third of the population in Rwanda still deal with genocide-related post-traumatic stress disorder. And more than one in five people struggle with depression.

    Humanity & Inclusion launched its response in Rwanda in the aftermath of the Tutsi genocide in 1994 and implemented its first mental health project in 1996, providing psychological support to children who had lost their parents. Today, our team continues to support the direct and indirect victims of the genocide. In 2018, more than 5,800 victims of violence took part in psychosocial activities to help overcome their trauma. 

    HI will be working with mental health professionals, including psychologists, in conjunction with the National Mental Health Coordination Committee (Rwanda Biomedical Center - RBC) during the three-month commemoration period. Our team will prepare them to manage trauma crises and assist genocide victims at memorial sites.

    “The after-effects are still felt today.”

    “From day to day, people tend to bury and repress genocide-related trauma,” explains Chantal Umurungi, Humanity & Inclusion’s mental health and psychosocial support advisor in Rwanda. “During the commemoration period, memories, feelings, and emotions will resurface. The victims will confront their suffering.

    “For some, it’s a crushing experience. People talk about it and it’s very powerful. Some people tell us ‘I didn't sleep at all last night. I saw the people I lost again and I couldn't close my eyes. They may relive panic attacks, the loss of loved ones, and so on.

    “The after-effects are still felt today. It is essential people support each other in this difficult time. It is very liberating to share feelings. Group therapy allows people to confide in each other and share their experiences: I’ve been through the same thing as you. I’ll tell you what helped me. It's life-saving.”

    Supporting victims for 25 years

    Since 1996, Humanity & Inclusion has supported more than 25,000 victims of violence, including genocide-related violence, and implemented more than 46,000 psychosocial support sessions. Today, HI's response takes more of a community mental health approach. Our teams coordinate listening and discussion groups, where people can express themselves with support from a psychologist or community volunteers.

    Small business projects

    They are then converted into self-help groups to help people set up small business projects together, with support from HI, including small vegetable shops and livestock breeding. Taking part in a joint business venture gives them dignity and independence.

    “The genocide’s impact on mental health has given rise to other indirect consequences such as drug use, high-risk sexual practices, violence, and marital conflicts.” Chantal adds. “This impoverishes families and weakens social ties. By proposing this approach to community mental health, allowing people to share their feelings and rebuilding bridges, HI wants to break the vicious cycle of violence and poorer mental health.”

    Learn more about our work in Rwanda.


    Photo: Olive, 50, was injured during the genocide. Sometimes she has so much pain that she can’t leave her bed. Today, she is selling fruits thanks to the rehabilitation care and economic support she receives from Humanity & Inclusion.

  • Senegal | Humanity & Inclusion relaunches mine clearance operations with U.S. support

    Many explosive remnants of war still endanger the lives of people living in Casamance–in the south of Senegal–and prevent internally displaced people from returning home.   

    Thanks to new funding from the American people, Humanity & Inclusion relaunched its mine clearance activities in Casamance in October 2018. By July 2019, our mine action teams expect to demine nearly 754,000 sq. ft. of land (the equivalent of 13 football fields) in the towns of Djibanar and Niagha, where some 22,500 people live; adding to the 4.3 million sq. ft. of land already cleared in the region since 2008.


    Restoring land to communities

    Twenty years after the ratification of the Ottawa Treaty by Senegal, more than 295 acres of land are still contaminated by anti-personnel mines and other explosive remnants of war in Casamance. This contamination dates back to the 1980s-1990s, when violent clashes occurred between the Senegalese army and Casamance independence fighters.

    Contamination affects main roads, country lanes and, most importantly, a lot of farmland–a vital source of income for the region's inhabitants. Through its mine clearance activities, Humanity & Inclusion works to restore this land to the families who own it, allowing them to return in safety, to travel freely, and to farm without fear.

    In the long term, these mine clearance activities aim to have a direct positive impact on the economic development of these districts and, indirectly, on the whole region. These positive changes should also encourage the return of some of the thousands of internally displaced people who fled Casamance, and who have been afraid to return home. 

    A historical presence

    Humanity & Inclusion has been present in Senegal since 1996. We started working in Casamance in 1999 in order to provide mine casualties with physical and psychological rehabilitation care and to inform local communities on the risks associated with explosive remnants of war.

    In the following years, our teams implemented a large-scale survey to determine and define with people living in 82 municipalities in Casamance the areas presenting a particular risk, and those to be cleared as a priority.

    In 2008, based on the results of these surveys, Humanity & Inclusion launched its first weapons clearance activities in Casamance. To date, we are the only humanitarian organization engaged in mine clearance operations in Senegal. Learn more about our work in Senegal.

  • Recovery in Mozambique | Survivors with disabilities need vital support

    As Claude Briade, a communications officer with Humanity & Inclusion, flew into Beira last week, he could see the scale of destruction that awaited him on the ground. Vast stretches of land covered in water, hundreds of thousands of destroyed rooftops, damaged buildings, and debris scattered every which way. Astonished by the brutal damage caused by Cyclone Idai, Claude gives a first-hand report using his own images.

    People with disabilities face exceptional challenges in recovery

    The vulnerable survivors face great challenges.


    People with disabilities struggle to access aid and information.


    Older people get tired of waiting in long lines for humanitarian aid. 


    Pregnant women and families with young children have lost their homes.

    Humanity & Inclusion is working to ensure that these individuals are included and that they receive the specialized support they need to recover from the disaster. 

    Improving humanitarian access

    During my first few days in the country, I accompanied Humanity & Inclusion's logistics experts as they evaluated ways to improve delivery of aid: clearing debris, finding new routes to isolated areas, coordinating transporters, etc. The context was exceptionally complicated with expanses of flood water cutting off all roads to some areas. Thanks to combined humanitarian efforts, it is improving rapidly.

    Community resilience

    As I traveled to various sites across the affected region, I have been struck by the survivors I have met and their resilience. The local population immediately set to work, rescuing, rebuilding, and supporting each other. Here, Humanity & Inclusion's logistics coordinator Fabrice Francois Renoux gathers information in Estaquinha, Mozambique from a local resident. 

    Responding the needs of the most vulnerable

    Humanity & Inclusion continues to seek funding in order to provide specific support for the most vulnerable Mozambicans in the days and weeks to come. Our current response consists of clearing debris in Beira city, improving access to the Sofala province (population 110,000), and providing food distributions to more than 11,000 households over the next three months. 

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986, and is best known there for our work helping victims of landmines and other explosive ordnance left from the country’s civil war. We ran a large demining operation that wrapped up when the country declared itself mine free in 2015. Most recently, staff worked to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. 

    Learn more about our work in Mozambique.


  • published HInewsJoin 2019-03-29 14:19:04 -0400

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  • Mozambique | Humanity & Inclusion provides food relief to 12,000 families

    Nearly 2 million people in need

    Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique on March 14, killing at least 416 people, injuring more than 1,500, and leaving an estimated 1.85 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

    Providing food relief

    Humanity & Inclusion will distribute World Food Program (WFP) stocks of essential food such as rice, vegetable oil, and beans to 12,000 families. This will provide some relief in the coming weeks as people try to rebuild their lives under very difficult circumstances. The WFP estimates that providing essential food to survivors will cost $150 million over the next three months.

    Flood waters increase risk of disease

    “The risk of communicable diseases has dramatically increased due to stagnant flood water as well as over-crowding in the collective accommodation center, where more than 110,000 displaced people are now staying,” explains Fanny Mraz, Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency director. “There are serious concerns regarding the risk of malaria and cholera outbreaks.”

    To help minimize this risk, Humanity & Inclusion will distribute hygiene kits, which include basic items such as hand and laundry soaps, to 8,000 families.

    Crops ruined due to flooding

    The cyclone caused flooding on a colossal scale. 1.2 million acres of crops have been destroyed. The impact will be felt immediately as the majority of crops were near ready for harvest.

    Water levels are thankfully now lower, but an estimated 1160 sq. miles of land remains submerged.

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986, and is best known there for our work helping victims of landmines and other explosive ordnance left from the country’s civil war. We ran a large demining operation that wrapped up when the country declared itself mine free in 2015. Most recently, staff worked to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. 

    Learn more about our work in Mozambique.

    Photo: Mozambicans walk among flooded fields.

  • Mozambique | Preventing the risk of waterborne illnesses

    “This is a major humanitarian disaster”

    “There are at least 145,000 displaced people in the city of Beira alone, which has a population of more than 500,000,” explains Marco Tamburro, Humanity & Inclusion’s program director in Mozambique. “We’re unsure of the final death toll because we don’t yet know what the situation is like in isolated areas. But it’s likely to rise.”


    Preventing waterborne illnesses

    Floods, dirty water, and poor hygiene poses a new threat to people already hit hard by the disaster. “Cases of cholera have already been reported in the city of Beira," Marco adds. “Floods make this type of disease more likely. So, we plan to distribute hygiene kits, which should provide more than 6,000 families with a healthier living environment.” 

    Tomorrow, Humanity & Inclusion’s teams in France will also send out mobility aids including crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers, along with generators and a logistics kit, to equip a temporary office in the disaster area.

    Coordinating logistics

    The city of Beira still bears the scars of the cyclone. Although several roads have been reopened, they remain lined with debris from trees and roofs. “During the first few days, it was very difficult to get to people due to the floods. The situation has improved somewhat over the past three days, and we’re coordinating our actions with other organizations to make sure distributions get through."

    Jérôme Rigard, Humanity & Inclusions logistics manager, explains what our team is doing to ensure these individuals receive access as soon as possible.

    Providing food aid and peace of mind to 10,000+

    Our team will also provide food aid to more than 10,000 families. "The shock suffered by disaster victims has to be taken into consideration. The whole city of Beira was affected. The people who lived through the cyclone and lost everything are deeply traumatized. We first need to provide psychological assistance to make sure they feel they have someone who can listen to them.”

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986. Currently, our teams are working to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. 

    Learn more about our work in Mozambique.

    Photo: A fallen tree and other damage in Beira, Mozambique, following Cyclone Idai.

  • Mozambique | Clearing access points to deliver humanitarian aid

    Thousands still under water

    Ten days after the cyclone hit, at least 770 square miles of land remains under water. More than 150 miles of roads are reportedly still partially flooded, including one linking the port of Beira to Zimbabwe. Beira is the country's second largest port. Most goods supplied to neighboring countries usually pass through it. These countries have also been hit by the cyclone. “Access ways to the port need to be repaired as soon as possible," says Fabrice Renoux, a project manager with Humanity & Inclusion’s Atlas Logistique division, sent to beef up HI’s team in Beira." The airport is open again but it’s not enough to supply humanitarian aid."


    Clearing access points to deliver humanitarian assistance

    Humanity & Inclusion’s team plans to introduce clearance measures in Beira in order to open up access ways. We'll do this by coordinating the work of clearance teams and trucks which will make it possible to deliver humanitarian assistance to people made vulnerable by the disaster. "But it is also essential to clear secondary roads in order to help people in rural areas, and we’re looking into other modes of transport, such as barges, to deliver humanitarian assistance for aid organizations to still-flooded areas.”

    On Saturday, the Mozambican authorities announced that the death toll had topped 400, with 1,500 people injured. This number is likely to rise as receding flood waters open up currently isolated areas. Crop destruction also poses a threat to the local population, which is no longer able to meet its basic needs. The risk of epidemics increases by the day due to poor hygiene and stagnant water.

    Communication remains a challenge

    Communication with the city of Beira, where Humanity & Inclusion’s team is located, remain intermittent. As I arrived by plane, I could see that Ruzi district, just south of Beira, had been hit by floods even more so than wind," Fabrice adds. "On the roadsides, you can see that many telephone poles have been twisted or brought down. Communication problems are making it difficult to coordinate assistance.

    "From what I could see in Beira, most damage was uprooted trees, fallen branches, and torn-off roofs. Building damage is due mainly to falling trees. A church was almost completely blown away by the cyclone. The roof had disappeared and part of the facade.”

    Throughout the city, people are working tirelessly to repair damage from the cyclone. “The local population is extremely resilient. Many trees on the ground have been cut up. Large numbers of volunteers are searching the debris. But we still don’t know how people in rural areas have responded to the disaster.”

    Emergency kits

    Humanity & Inclusion is stepping up its deployment to help the most vulnerable people. We plan to provide food aid to more than 12,000 families and hygiene kits to more than 500 families. HI’s teams will also ensure the most vulnerable people are included in emergency response.

    Humanity & Inclusion in Mozambique

    Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Mozambique since 1986. Currently, our teams are working to promote the rights and social participation of people with disabilities, support civil society to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities, and prevent the development of disabilities. 

    Learn more about our work in Mozambique.

    Photo: Sheet metal and other debris block roadways and damage cars in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai.

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  • Mozambique | Providing emergency aid to the survivors of Cyclone Idai

    Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique on March 14, 2019 killing more than 600 people, injuring more than 1,600, and leaving nearly two million in need of humanitarian assistance. 

    Humanity & Inclusion is on the ground helping survivors by reinforcing capacity and ensuring that hard-to-reach neighborhoods receive vital aid, distributing non-food items to the households impacted, and providing psychosocial support to those who need it most.

    Help ensure aid reaches people with disabilities, injuries, and vulnerable victims of this disaster.



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