[April 1, 2019] Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting Anglican partner organizations in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in response to Cyclone Idai, a destructive category four storm that struck southern Africa in March.
According to the UN, Cyclone Idai has caused one of the worst weather-related emergencies in Africa. It affected at least three million people, destroying homes and infrastructure such as roads and bridges making rescue and aid difficult. As the water slowly begins to recede in some areas, cholera and malaria have become a growing concern.
In Mozambique, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Anglican dioceses of Lebombo and Niassa in a long-term response to meet the needs in impacted communities. In response to the immense destruction in the city of Beira, the Diocese of Lebombo is establishing a regional development office. It will network and coordinate with local government and other humanitarian agencies to promote a collaborative approach to the response. The regional office will serve as a hub for the the diocesan outreach that may continue for several months as longer-term rehabilitation and recovery needs are prioritized. As the initial emergency activities end and relief organizations move on to other crises, the Church will remain with the impacted communities and support long-term efforts. The diocese is targeting their response to support schools, water and sanitation support, particularly as it impacts vulnerable children and their families. In the Diocese of Niassa, church partners are providing hygiene, nutrition and agricultural support which will target at least 1,000 families in the provinces of Zambezia, Niassa and Tete.
Episcopal Relief & Development is also supporting partner national offices in Malawi and Zimbabwe as they provide immediate assistance and develop long-term strategies for disaster response. In the short-term, the Anglican Council of Malawi is responding with food, blankets, cooking utensils and other emergency supplies while Anglican Relief & Development of Zimbabwe is coordinating a response providing relief kits of food, water, soap, medicines and temporary shelter.
“Episcopal Relief & Development is working very closely with our partner organizations to support an immediate response to the cyclone and to accompany them with as-needed capacity support as they build disaster preparedness and resilience for the future,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Programme Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development. “We are inspired by the instinctive ministries of all of the impacted churches, and stand ready to serve with them as each church enhances their community-based relief and recovery strategy moving forward.”
For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.