Cyclone Idai victims in Mozambique allegedly sexually exploited for food

Cyclone Idai victims in Mozambique allegedly sexually exploited for food

- There have been reports of Mozambican citizens being sexually exploited in exchange for food

- This comes as the country faces a food shortage due to Cyclone Idai

- Humanitarian organisations have condemned the abuse

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Many Mozambicans have been left without food or adequate shelter following Cyclone Idai.

As a result, many people, especially women and children, are more vulnerable to abuse.

Consequently, Human Rights Watch has reported several instances of people being being forced to hand over large sums of money or even perform sexual favours in exchange for food.

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There have been several reports of local leaders and other figures connected to ruling party, Frelimo, mistreating or coercing people before giving them food. Some women have allegedly been sexually exploited for as a little as a bag of rice.

Human Rights Watch has condemned this strongly, with the organisation's South African director saying that authorities should "punish anyone using their position of power to exploit and abuse women", according to TimesLive. 

Cyclone Idai did considerable damage to infrastructure in Mozambique and also flooded many farms and plantations, resulting in a food shortage. Humanitarian organisations have stepped in to help with this, with the UN claiming that one million people were provided with food assistance in the cyclone's aftermath.

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However, some leaders responsible for storing this food have abused the situation for their own benefit, such as handing out more food to the politically-connected, has gathered. 

Another cyclone, although much weaker than Idai, struck the country on Thursday. Humanitarian aid and interventions are expected to continue.

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