Humanitarian aid organisation, GOAL, today launched an Easter appeal to support its vital emergency response operations in countries devastated by Cyclone Idai.
GOAL warned that one month after Cyclone Idai left a trail of destruction in parts of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, a potential food crisis is looming due to the failure of thousands of hectares of crop harvest. The death toll across the three countries is estimated at 1,000, but many more are still missing.
GOAL’s Head of Programmes, Fiona Gannon, who has just returned from Zimbabwe, said today: “Cyclone Idai has caused huge devastation and flooding across Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Four weeks after it first hit millions of people are still in urgent need of humanitarian support, including shelter, clean water and food. For those already living in vulnerable situations, the impact of this disaster pushes them closer to the edge.“
She added: “GOAL has been responding by distributing aid to affected communities, but we urgently need more help and are appealing to the public to donate what they can this Easter to our Cyclone Idai emergency appeal online or over the phone”.
Ms Gannon said thousands of acres of crops have been destroyed by the Cyclone, just before harvest, raising fears of severe food insecurity in the coming months. With a short window of opportunity to plant winter crops there is emphasis on distributing seeds and tools, while shelter and food is being provided to those who are displaced.
There is also concern for the health of those who have been displaced. The threat of water-borne diseases due to overcrowding in shelters, lack of hygiene, and contaminated water sources is a fear as some cases of cholera have already been reported in Mozambique. All three countries are malaria prone and there is an urgent need to provide mosquito nets to displaced people living in make shift shelter.
GOAL teams in the affected countries include a humanitarian advisor and secondments from other GOAL countries.
Cyclone Idai has been described as one of the worst tropical cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere. In March winds of 170 kph swept in from the Indian Ocean destroying land and causing rivers to burst their banks. The cyclone hit Mozambique causing catastrophic damage before causing devastation in neighbouring Malawi. The high winds and torrential rains wiped out homes and infrastructure before it continued into Zimbabwe, a country that is already facing an economic and food crisis.
Donations can be made to GoalGlobal.org or call 1850 832 100