U.N. Says Major Funding Needed to Help Southern Africa after Cyclone


The United Nations said Wednesday it will be seeking a "large" amount of funding from member-states to help deal with the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Idai.

"This may be one of the worst natural disasters to hit southern Africa in living memory and so we will need to do quite a lot," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Five days after tropical cyclone Idai cut a swath through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, the confirmed death toll stood at more than 300 and hundreds of thousands of lives were at risk, officials said.

"We do not know yet the scale of damage to make a precise estimate of what kind of numbers we are looking at but it will be large," said Haq.

"We are trying our best to inform the international community to expect that we need to do quite a lot."

The United Nations on Tuesday released $20 million from its emergency response fund as agencies raced to help hundreds of thousands of people at risk. 

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