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The Aid in Danger Monthly News Brief, March 2019

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Insecurity Insight
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Cyclone Idai: Media monitoring

Latest incidents affecting response efforts

From 21 to 31 March 2019 Insecurity Insight partnered with Standby Task Force, a global network of digital humanitarians, to monitor local news and social media sources in the aftermath of the Cyclone Idai to see if these sources can provide useful insights on the security context for aid agencies. This Monthly News Brief starts with the information from this special monitoring before covering all other countries with information from main stream media.


17 March 2019: In Thondwe, Zomba district, members of the Area Development Committee (ADC) allegedly stole food supplies meant for civilians affected by Cyclone Idai. The police apprehended two members of the committee and recovered some of the stolen supplies. Source: News of the South

19 March 2019 (DOA): Reports allege that false fundraising efforts have been created to take advantage of the humanitarian situation following the damage caused by the cyclone, resulting in the looting of funds meant for helping victims. In response, a government official has called for all donations to be handed over to the Civil Protection Unit, an authority mandated by government to provide protection to the victims of natural disasters. Source: Zim Morning Post

20 March 2019: In Matacuane neighbourhood, Beira, residents attempted to loot a food warehouse. Police intervened by firing live ammunition at the civilians. No casualties were reported. Source: Verdade

21 March 2019 (DOA): In Beira, fighting broke out after more than a hundred civilians tried to force their way into a municipal building where food supplies were stored. Soldiers guarding the building responded by shooting live ammunition into the air. Source: ITV

22 March 2019 (DOA): In Beira, residents looted a warehouse containing food supplies. Source: Good Morning Zimbabwe

22 March 2019 (DOA): In Vaz neighbourhood, Beira, vehicles bringing food into the area were attacked by local civilians. Source: Mail and Guardian

22 March 2019: In Buzi, Sofala Province, Indian navy boats seeking to rescue people were confronted by local civilians, who thought the boats contained food supplies. As a result, only one out of the six Indian boats returned to Beira with people who wanted to leave Buzi. Source: Washington Post

25 March 2019 (DOA): In Mobeira, Beira, local civilians were allegedly prohibited by the local government authority to travel to Beira, where aid is reportedly more easily accessible. Source: Sky News

27 March 2019 (DOA): NGOs claim that the slow response from the government to their requests for permission to operate in the country has resulted in aid supplies being delayed. Source: Observador

Reports of rumours and allegations affecting the delivery of aid

• Rumour that foreign organisations bringing food aid are also bringing spies and come to gather intelligence. Facebook 27 March 2019.