Team Rubicon To Help Those Affected By Cyclone Idai

The team of ex-military volunteers are preparing to travel to Mozambique.

Flooding in Mozambique following the cyclone (Picture: World Food Programme).

Ex-military volunteers from Team Rubicon UK are preparing to travel to Mozambique, the country hit hardest by cyclone Idai.

The cyclone has caused devastation in Southern Africa, with at least 300 people killed in the storms and the death toll expected to rise.

Aid agencies are struggling to reach thousands of people and the World Food Programme estimates at least 400,000 people are in need of life-saving assistance.

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Aid agencies are struggling to reach people affected (Picture: Department for International Development).

Team Rubicon, which is largely made up of military veterans, has three people on the way to Mozambique.

Initially, they will be gathering information.

"In the initial stage, we'll provide needs assessment to remote areas that maybe haven't been reached yet," says Sam Wheatley-Smith, Team Rubicon's Mission Hub Manager.

Damage in South Sumatra following the tsunami (Picture: Team Rubicon UK).
Team Rubicon helped in South Sumatra (Picture: Team Rubicon).

The team have packed light, as they will need to be able to get around easily.

"We are a small team, relatively fit. We're used to operating in a dangerous environment," explains veteran Paul Taylor, Team Rubicon's Operations Response Manager.

The scale of the flooding they will face when they arrive in Mozambique is huge and it has created drastic shortages of food, water, medicine, and shelter.

Mr Taylor says:

"Our whole ethos is about sustainability."

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Team Rubicon need to pack light for their mission.

In 2000, the UK sent Puma helicopters to Mozambique after a typhoon wrought devastation, but so far there has been no request for UK military assistance.

However, Britain has provided £18 million in support to the survivors of Cyclone Idai in the form of food, water, and shelter.

Team Rubicon expects to be on the ground for at least two weeks or for as long as their skills are needed.