World Relief Responds to Cyclone Idai

Photo Credit: FH

Photo Credit: FH

Nearly a week has passed since Cyclone Idai devastated three of the most vulnerable countries in Southern Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and the full extent of the disaster and the needs are still growing. In Malawi alone, nearly one million people have been impacted by the flooding caused by Cyclone Idai.

The situation in Malawi is extremely challenging. A huge number of houses have collapsed, fields flooded, entire bridges washed away and roads made completely impassable, making access a challenge. There has also been significant destruction of crops and animals, which is likely to have a long-term impact on food availability in the affected areas.   

Reflecting on the disaster, World Relief’s Country Director for Malawi, Gibson Nkanaunena, wrote:

I am deeply touched and shocked by the devastation. The situation is extremely challenging, and people need our support. There’s been loss of lives, injuries, homes, food, household items, crops and livestock. Many have loved ones still missing. The trauma is great. The humanitarian need is great. People are in extreme need.

But I have also seen genuine compassion from neighbours, churches, government agencies, NGOs, companies, politicians and others. It seems most people want to offer help. And it has been encouraging to see the response of the local church to the needs of those in the affected regions.

Our local churches in Malawi are responding to serve the needs of the most vulnerable in the regions impacted by the floods and rain...”

Right now, World Relief Malawi is mobilizing to support communities affected by the severe flooding in two districts in the southern region of Malawi. In Machinga district, we are providing emergency assistance in the form of food support, bed-nets, blankets, water, sanitation and temporary shelter. And in Chikwawa district, one of the worst affected areas, we are working alongside local partner Evangelical Association of Malawi to address both immediate lifesaving needs, and reducing negative long-term impacts through enhancing livelihoods and building risk reduction capabilities to ensure resilience in the face of future disasters.

World Relief has had an operational presence in Malawi since 1989, with current programs spanning 10 districts in the central and northern regions of the country. World Relief’s core programs are focused on empowering local churches, maternal and child health, child and youth development, agriculture and livelihoods and disaster response. Our work has helped over 4 million people in the last 3 years.