By Michael Oche
The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) has called for urgent global assistance to address the devastating impact of Cyclone Freddy on the people of Mozambique and Malawi.
In a statement signed on Tuesday by the ITUC-Africa General Secretary, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, the African Regional umbrella body for workers said this is a critical moment to act.
The Organisation described the loss of lives, damage and destruction to infrastructure and properties as well as destruction of crops and livestock as “tragic and heart-breaking.”
The statement noted, “Swift and effective action is required to address the urgent humanitarian needs of those affected by the cyclone and we urge the governments of Mozambique and Malawi to prioritize the provision of emergency aid and support to affected communities.”
The ITUC-AFRICA said access to safe shelter, clean water, food, and medical care must be provided without delay to prevent further loss of life and minimize the suffering of those affected by this disaster.
“We hope that coordinated effort by the governments of Mozambique and Malawi in close partnership with international humanitarian organizations, aid agencies, and other stakeholders will assure the mobilization of the needed resources and expertise to support the emergency response to support the affected communities to receive the assistance they need,” the regional body noted.
The General Secretary further exhort both governments to take a long-term approach to addressing the root causes of such natural disasters, saying that the increasing frequency and intensity of cyclones and other extreme weather events are a clear indication of the urgent need for action on climate change.
“These developments are reminders of the need and urgency to build climate change adaptability and mitigation stamina,” he said.
The ITUC-AFRICA while expressing its sympathy to all the persons, families and communities, as well as the governments of Malawi and Mozambique that have been affected by this tragic development, also said it appreciate the efforts and support of various rescue and support organisations that have been lending a hand to the affected people.