France sends aid to Mozambique: ministry

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PARIS, March 27 (Xinhua) -- France said it had send a plane full of humanitarian and medical aid to Mozambique after Cyclone Idai devastated the southeastern African country, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement.

As part of France's humanitarian mission carried out with non NGOs and the foundations of partner companies, an aircraft, on board 65 tons of humanitarian aid notably consisting of tents, tarps, solar lamps and water purification tablets, left the country on March 27.

France's second delivery of humanitarian assistance also contained electrical equipment, medical and hygiene kits, the ministry said in the statement.

It added it was "coordinating the responses to address the needs of the affected populations together with the ministries, private partners, corporate foundations and NGOs mobilized within the framework of the European Mechanism for Civil Protection following the appeal for international assistance by Mozambique".

Cyclone Idai, "an uncommonly fierce and prolonged storm", was one of the worst storms to hit Africa, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday.

"Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi have suffered one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa," he said in a plea to countries to donate to a 281.7 million U.S. dollar flash appeal.

"The death toll across the three countries is at least 700, but with hundreds still missing," the UN chief said. "The devastation has affected an estimated 3 million people, nearly two-thirds of them in Mozambique." Enditem

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