World Vision is responding to an escalating humanitarian crisis after Cyclone Idai left a trail of destruction and homelessness in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, World Vision Australia’s CEO, Claire Rogers said today.
“World Vision is providing shelter, food, water and sanitation,” Ms Rogers said. “Cyclone Idai has caused loss of life and catastrophic infrastructure damage. There are estimates of more than 1000 lives lost and around 2.5 million people affected by this deadly cyclone.”
In what the UN says may be the worst ever weather disaster to strike the Southern Hemisphere, the cyclone struck the port city of Beira around midnight last Thursday, destroying more than 90% of the city, and moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi. Continued torrential rain and washed out roads are hindering humanitarian efforts, and hundreds of thousands are now displaced.
“People have been forced into camps without proper sanitation,” Ms Rogers said. “The scale of the damage is being closely monitored by our teams in all three countries. Emergencies always challenge the most vulnerable. We are deeply concerned about the children. Some will be struggling to cope with the uncertainty and loss of loved ones.”
World Vision is concerned that in Malawi, crop damage will push already fragile communities into food insecurity. World Vision’s National Director for Malawi, Hazel Nyathi, says that already more than 800,000 people have been affected and in need of urgent support.
“All over the country the needs are just too huge. We appeal for immediate support to meet the food, shelter and sanitation needs of those affected,” she said.