MAPUTO, Mozambique, June 19 (JTA) — Israel and the African Jewish community have pledged their support to Mozambique after recent flooding in the southern African nation.
The chairman of the African Jewish Congress and Israel’s ambassador to six African states assured Mozambique’s president, Joaquim Chissano, that aid to his country will continue.
“Thank you for your concern — we are optimistic because we have this international aid,” Chissano told an AJC delegation visiting Maputo over the weekend.
Chissano said Mozambique is facing “the most important period of reconstruction.” The nation is trying to control the consequences of the floods, which resulted in deaths from malaria and cholera, relocate people to safer places on higher ground, rebuild road and railway systems and distribute seeds and cattle to those who lost everything during the floods.
Earlier on Friday, delegates to the AJC conference from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies handed over money collected from world Jewish communities — particularly in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand — to the Red Cross in Mozambique.
The proceeds will be used to establish a water purification plant in one of the resettlement areas.
About 19 Jews currently live in Mozambique and efforts are being made through the AJC, which is part of the World Jewish Congress, to reorganize this fragmented community.
Out of Mozambique’s total population of 4.5 million, 760,000 have needed assistance. Some 700 people have died as a result of the floods.