Children scrape for rice inside a pot at a displacement centre in Beira, Mozambique. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

Johannesburg - The United States Agency for International Development has announced nearly $3.4 million in additional emergency humanitarian food assistance for victims of Cyclone Idai which has killed more than 600 people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

In a statement, USAID said this brought its total aid to southern Africa in response to the cyclone to nearly $4.1 million. 

"The new funding, provided to the World Food Programme, will help deliver approximately 2,500 metric tons of rice, peas, and vegetable oil to affected people in (Mozambique's) Sofala, Zambezia, and Manica provinces," it said.

"This life-saving emergency food assistance will support approximately 160,000 people for one month."

Cyclone Idai is the worst natural disaster in southern Africa in nearly two decades and has left some 900 square miles of land is covered in water, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the three countries in need of assistance. 

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund said on Saturday at least one million children had been affected by the cyclone and subsequent floods in Mozambique.

African News Agency (ANA)