Call for Solidarity from Mozambique: A Message from 2014 Neustadt Prize Laureate Mia Couto

March 21, 2019

Call for Solidarity from Mozambique: A Message from 2014 Neustadt Prize Laureate Mia Couto

It is already well known that the city of Beira and the entire central region of Mozambique have been hit by a cyclone of unusual intensity that has caused catastrophic floods that have stolen lives and caused material damage that cannot yet be quantified. The city of Beira, the second largest in the country, has been almost totally destroyed and is isolated, with no roads, no shelter, no energy, no administrative systems and no communications. The city seems to have been condemned to darkness, mourning and silence. Those who already had little, were left with nothing. Where there were rivers there is now an endless sea. And there is no more ground for the rain that continues to fall.

According to the United Nations, the devastating cyclone could be the “worst climate disaster that has hit the southern hemisphere.” According to the same source, 1,700,000 people were hit by the cyclone. The mere fact that it is impossible to assess the number of deaths and the magnitude of the damage reflects the extent of this tragedy that greatly exceeds our country’s capacity to respond.

After a first moment of consternation, the Mozambican society mobilized in innumerable and diversified local initiatives of support. However, this generosity is not enough. This is a calamity on a global scale. Mozambique urgently needs the solidarity of all.

The Fernando Leite Couto Foundation intends to join the national and international solidarity movement in order to meet the immediate needs of saving people and assets. With the intention of collecting monetary contributions, we opened special bank accounts at Banco Único designated as Foundation Fernando Leite Couto Emergência Beira, as follows:

  • Account Number: 00017978803
  • Currency: MZN
  • NIB: 004300000001797880369
  • IBAN: MZ59004300000001797880369
  • Account Number: 00017979800
  • Currency: USD
  • NIB: 004300000001797980085
  • IBAN: MZ59004300000001797980085

All donations to these accounts will be channelled to the Red Cross of Mozambique, an institution that, together with the International Red Cross, is on the ground carrying out actions to support the affected people. The Foundation and the Red Cross of Mozambique have agreed to conclude a memorandum establishing the principles and modalities for the application of these funds.

The Fernando Leite Couto Foundation is aware that responding to the most immediate needs is an inescapable humanitarian imperative. It is obvious, however, that the implications of this tragedy will have repercussions for a long time. The Foundation will study and discuss with friends and partners ways to maintain support in the reconstruction of the city of Beira.

The Chairman of the Foundation



Mia Couto
Maputo, March 20 2019

Av. Kim Il Sung, Nº 961

[email protected]