Red Cross Appeal To Help Cyclone Idai Victims

March 21, 2019

The Bermuda Red Cross has launched a disaster appeal for those affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

“Cyclone Idai has torn through Southern Africa unleashing a trail of devastating destruction,” a spokesperson said. “According to the UN, millions of people were in the direct path of what could be the ‘worst weather-related disaster to hit the southern hemisphere.’

“Families have lost their homes. Many have lost loved ones. With people in need of urgent assistance, the situation across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi is desperate. Emergency water and sanitation units deployed to disaster-struck Mozambique.

“The first will provide basic sanitation facilities for up to 20,000 people. The second will produce up to 225,000 litres of clean water per day – enough for 15,000 people. The humanitarian experts accompanying the units will arrive in the coming days, with the equipment to arrive in Beira early next week.

Jamie LeSueur, the Head of Operations in Mozambique for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [IFRC] said, “We know that health risks can rise dramatically in the aftermath of any emergency, let alone one of this magnitude. We are concerned about the potential spread of waterborne disease. These emergency response units will be crucial for preventing that spread, and for making sure that people have the basic support they need.”

“A third emergency response unit, designed to manage the complex logistics involved in an operation of this scale, is also being deployed.

“In addition to water and sanitation, IFRC and Mozambique Red Cross are also aiming to address the massive shelter needs caused by the tropical cyclone and the floods. According to the government, at least 400,000 people have been displaced.

“Red Cross volunteers have already distributed emergency shelter kits – made up tarpaulins and basic tools – to about 1,500 families. These kits were part of a consignment that IFRC managed to deploy to Beira ahead of the flooding.

“Today, an additional consignment of emergency shelter kits for 3,000 families arrived at the Beira port. These crucial supplies were deployed in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai from a French Red Cross warehouse on Réunion island.

“Many people have been waiting for days for rescue and for support. It’s encouraging that the humanitarian response is really starting to come to scale. But more help is needed, and we are continuing to do all we can to bring in more resources and to reach more people,” said LeSueur.

“IFRC and Mozambique Red Cross are appealing for 10 million Swiss francs to help 75,000 people. Red Cross will focus on reaching those worst affected by the crisis. In addition to water and sanitation and shelter, IFRC is also focusing on responding to health needs and to ensuring that cyclone survivors are safe from harm during the coming recovery.

“Act now and you will help save lives. Your donation today will make a difference. The Red Cross are on the ground now, providing vital aid and search and rescue support.

“Bermuda Red Cross is accepting financial donations only to assist the International Red Cross appeal to perform its tasks in assisting the many communities affected.

“Donations can be made by direct deposit into the following account: Bank of N.T. Butterfield 20-006-060-663859-200.

Go online to our website to use your debit/credit card, or call us at 236-8253 Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm with your card details or mail or stop in at our offices: Bermuda Red Cross, Southern Africa Disaster Appeal, Charleswood,9 Berry Hill Road, Paget DV 03.”

On a separate but related note, Premier David Burt today encouraged Bermuda to remember the people of Mozambique and other areas of southern Africa, including Malawi and Zimbabwe, impacted by Cyclone Idai.

“The scenes of the devastation and immense flooding are disheartening and I wish for the people of these countries to know that our distance from them does not diminish our concern for their welfare,” the Premier said.

“I have liaised with the local Red Cross and they are equipped to forward donations and field inquiries about how to best assist during these difficult times.”

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