Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) has launched an emergency appeal in response to Cyclone Idai. We are coordinating our actions with the Xavier Network and our Jesuit partners in southern Africa.
The response so far
Jesuits in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa have initiated emergency and recovery appeals. Donation drop-off points have been set up in Harare and Johannesburg. Through the Jesuit Relief Fund of the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe-Mozambique, the first batch of aid, including food, clothing and blankets, has already been sent to Chimanimani in Zimbabwe.
Numerous countries as well as the African Union and European Union are also responding to the crisis. As well, a number of international aid agencies and international bodies like the United Nations and World Food Program have launched emergency assistance. The Catholic Church, through Caritas and local Catholic Commissions for Justice and Peace, is responding with humanitarian assistance.
Tropical Cyclone Idai reached peak intensity on March 14 with sustained winds of 195 km/hour. It made landfall near Beira, Mozambique, on March 15. It is one of the worst cyclones on record to affect Africa or the Southern Hemisphere as a whole.
So far hundreds of deaths have been confirmed in the worst affected countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and many more are expected. More than 2.7 million people have been impacted by widespread flooding, the destruction of houses, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure and severe shortages of food, drinking water and shelter. Many places are still cut off by flood waters and as yet have received no aid. The risks of widespread cholera and increased rates of malaria are very high.
Expressions of support
Further details regarding Cyclone Idai’s destruction and the enormous needs people in the region face may be read in the following expressions of support:
- Statement by the President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM)
- Letter from the International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS)
- Article by Anold Moyo SJ, in Zimbabwe
What you can do
CJI will continue to keep you informed on emergency response and recovery efforts in the cyclone-affected area. All donations from CJI supporters will be coordinated with the Xavier Network, which is currently assessing the situation together with on-the-ground partners to determine how best to direct donations for maximum impact.