Posted 287 days ago ago by Admin
“To paint a picture of how remote some of the people are that we serve, it takes the inhabitants who live in areas of the Zambezi Delta three days to reach civilization by dugout canoe. The helicopter can reach those areas in 20 minutes.” - Matthias Reuter, Mercy Air helicopter program director
From 1977 to 1992, the Mozambican Civil War was a bloody battle to control the African nation. The war was fought between Mozambique's ruling Marxist Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), anti-communist insurgent forces of the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), and a number of smaller factions.
The Mozambican Civil War destroyed much of Mozambique's critical rural infrastructure, including hospitals, rail lines, roads, and schools. Additionally, according to estimates, over one million Mozambicans were killed in the fighting or starved due to interrupted food supplies; an additional 5 million were displaced across the region.
In 1990, Mercy Air was born out of this conflict as a Christian initiative operating as a fixed-wing missionary program. The airplanes were initially used to provide relief and support to refugees fleeing Mozambique along the border of South Africa. Due to rebels and the poor security situation in the region, moving people and supplies via ground vehicles was too risky.
In 2004, Mercy Air decided to add helicopters to their operations. Rotorcraft not only enhanced the aviation operation’s capability, but significantly expanded the geographic locations it could serve.
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