As the scope of the devastation brought on by Cyclone Idai continues to unfold in Southern Africa, Canadian aid agencies are working together to rush emergency assistance to survivors.
Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe have been hit by what may be the worst ever disaster to strike the southern hemisphere, according to the UN. Vast regions have been flooded, destroying infrastructure and claiming hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives. An estimated 2,6 million people have been affected and the need for food, water, sanitation and shelter is urgent.
Eight leading Canadian aid agencies are uniting their efforts and resources through the Humanitarian Coalition (HC) to raise funds for this crisis and respond to the needs of survivors as quickly and effectively as possible.
HC agencies were on the ground at the outset of the disaster, involved in search and rescue operations and airlifting supplies to areas that are inaccessible by road. They are providing tents, water and emergency supplies in all three of the affected countries. Special attention is being given to the protection of women and children, particularly in camps of displaced people. Workers on the ground report that families with children are struggling the most.
Richard Morgan, executive director of the Humanitarian Coalition, says, “We are deeply saddened by the fatalities caused by Cyclone Idai. Our job now is to prevent further loss of life by providing survivors with the essentials they need to live. We are proud that our agencies are collaborating both here at home to mobilize more Canadians, and in the field to ensure that the donations we receive have the most impact in helping people in need.”
The following agencies are members of the Humanitarian Coalition: Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Canadian Lutheran World Relief, CARE Canada, Islamic Relief Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan International Canada, Save the Children.
Canadians can give to Cyclone Idai emergency relief at www.together.ca or by calling 1-800-464-9154.