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One year on, Mozambique still reels from Cyclone Idai

Cyclone Idai struck in March last year sweeping away homes, roads and bridges, leaving around 700 people dead and displaced 1.5 million others.

FILE: People walk on the flooded street of Buzi, central Mozambique, on 20 March 2019 after the passage of the cyclone Idai. International aid agencies raced on 20 March to rescue survivors and meet spiralling humanitarian needs in three impoverished countries battered by one of the worst storms to hit southern Africa in decades. Picture: AFP

MAPUTO - Tens of thousands of victims of last year's Cyclone Idai which pummelled southern Africa, especially Mozambique, still live in makeshift shelters and face continued threats of displacement due to climate change, aid agencies said Tuesday.

Cyclone Idai - the strongest storm on record to hit southern Africa - struck in March last year sweeping away homes, roads and bridges, leaving around 700 people dead and displaced 1.5 million others.

GALLERY: The immediate aftermath of Cyclone Idai

"One year after Cyclone Idai left a trail of destruction across parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, nearly 100,000 people continue to live in makeshift shelters and are alarmingly vulnerable to future climate shocks," three agencies said.

The joint statement came from Save the Children, Care International and Oxfam.

Despite a massive global effort to mobilise funding for the victims displaced, less than half of the hundreds of millions of dollars required was raised.

The shortfall has left aid agencies and the devastated families battling to cope.

"As the climate crisis worsens, governments and aid agencies are struggling to get the right resources to implement speedy and adequate recovery and reconstruction efforts," said Rotafina Donco, Oxfam’s Country Director in Mozambique.

A little over a month after Cyclone Idai struck, northern Mozambique was hit by another devastating storm, Cyclone Kenneth.

Piling on to the misery, heavy rains lashed central Mozambique's Sofala province in December, damaging around 3,676 resettlement shelters and completely destroying another 500.

Efforts to replant the 700,000 hectares of lost crops have also been thwarted by flooding.

The ongoing displacement has also created additional risks of children being vulnerable to exploitation, separated from their families, and dropping out of school.

Last year storms in Mozambique inflicted an estimated $3 billion in damages - roughly 20% of the country's GDP.

The International Monetary Fund provided Mozambique with an emergency load of $118 million - no where near to what the country needs.

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