17 April 2019, Beira, Mozambique – Cyclone Idai’s death toll has risen above 900 in the three southern African countries hit by the storm four weeks ago. The natural disaster left hundreds of thousands homeless and more than 100,000 homes damaged or destroyed, along with at least 1 million acres of crops.
Presently, health, education, protection and food security are issues that need to be addressed in an urgent manner. In all the three countries, famers lost a significant part of their livestock, ready-to-harvest crops and livelihoods. This loss is estimated to cause a chronic long-term food security problem, which may last at least one and a half year in the countries affected.
In addition, a significant number of the children are out of school, either because schools have been destroyed, or they are being used as shelter for internally displaced persons. According to governments updates there are 430,101 children out of school in the three countries. UNICEF has reported estimates of 1.6 million children are affected in the same region.
Currently one of the biggest health threats is the growing number of cases of cholera, malaria, and diarrhea, and respiratory infections, due to poor living conditions and lack of adequate sanitation facilities where affected people are taking shelter. Mozambique alone has already register cases of cholera and malaria surge to 4,600 and 7,500 respectively since the cyclone hit.
World Vision remains concerned regarding the safeguarding of affected children and communities. It has launched an awareness campaign around this issue and particularly in the area of food security. These messages have been communicated through established help desks at distribution sites, through staff safeguarding training and community radio announcements in local language, before the distribution of relief goods to affected persons.
“In the affected countries the needs are still huge. There is visible food shortage and a favourable environment for a significant cholera outbreak in the three countries affected. As our staff continue to work around the clock to protect and save lives of the most vulnerable on the ground, your help and support is most welcome at this period,’’ says Jeff Wright, World Vision Emergency Response Director for the three countries.
Despite visible difficulties, on the ground, significant work has been completed with funds from key donors in partnership with and through the Governments and well-established partners.
After four weeks of humanitarian operations, World Vision has provided non-food items to 36,600 affected people, provided food rations to 96,015 affected people in the response areas, opened seven child friendly spaces, distributed 20,000 blankets and 27,000 tarpaulins to beneficiaries. World Vision also provided clothes to 1,000 children, 6,000 hygiene kits and US $50,000 dollars worth of medical equipment for health centres in Sofala province.
Through child friendly spaces,World Vision is providing on-going psychosocial support for children affected in the three countries. These support emotional recovery for children through recreational activities and safe play and also enable World Vision to identify and refer children who might be in need of more specialized psychosocial support.
In Mozambique World Vision will also be establishing Temporary Learning Spaces to ensure children are able to continue learning even while schools are repaired or reopened for classes. In Malawi World Vision is conducting awareness campaigns on Ending Child Marriage in four districts as away of keeping children, especially girls, safe until their learning resumes.
For more information please contact:
· SAFCER Response Director Jeff Wright +258 84 296 25 40
· Regional HEA Director, SAR, Joseph Kamara +268 7802 0618
· SAFCER Communications Manager, Joelma Pereira, +258 2913754