Cyclone Freddy hit Mozambique on March 11 and broke the record for the longest tropical cyclone, lasting five weeks and two days. The torrential downpour and high winds affected other parts of Africa around Northeast Zimbabwe, Southeast Zambia and Malawi.
The cyclone caused dangerous flash flooding that destroyed land, homes and powerlines, according to the World Meteorology Organization.
UNICEF says that the already impoverished communities of Malawi and Mozambique are facing even more health adversities after the cyclone. Citizens do not have access to clean water or adequate health and sanitation systems. As a result, Malawi children are at higher risk of cholera and disease.
Aside from health and sanitation resources, affected people also need new infrastructure, after the destruction of many hospitals and living spaces.
Three Organizations Aiding the Victims Recovering From Cyclone Freddy
- United Methodist Church: According to its website, the United Methodist Church aims to “Promote Health and Wholeness,” combating diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. It also provides “health education, advocacy and infrastructure.” After Cyclone Freddy, the UMC worked with Boto Andre, the head of the village and deputy mayor in Antananarivo, Madagascar, to give a grant that provided months of food for about 150 families. It also granted Mozambique and Malawi emergency rations and hygiene resources.
- Convoy of Hope: Convoy of Hope is a nonprofit organization striving to feed the hungry and bring help to communities in need. In the past, it provided meal education in Madagascar, fed malnourished citizens during a drought in Kenya and held food fairs in Nicaragua. After the cyclone, Convoy of Hope gave 19,000 meals to survivors and is currently working on gathering the resources in high demand, such as menstrual products and clothing. It has also distributed water filters and hygiene kits to the community.
- Global Giving: Global Giving’s mission statement is “We help fellow nonprofits access the funding, tools, training and support they need to serve their communities.” This nonprofit organization aids in disaster relief as well as educating citizens willing to help communities in need. Global Giving is currently aiming to raise $500,000 for the Cyclone Freddy relief fund. The donations will serve to provide food and medical supplies, along with rebuilding efforts and support recovery. On the ground, Global Giving is providing victims with water, blankets, buckets and plastic sheets. The organization also pays close attention to the long-term effects of the cyclone; the team is prepared to build strong, weather-resistant houses.
Malawi and Mozambique were already at high risk for cholera, and that risk has only risen since the Cyclone. Adding to health concerns, around a fifth of Malawi’s population was already facing food insecurity, and after Freddy, which destroyed 297,000 acres of farmland, that number is bound to increase, according to AP news.
In the aftermath of such extreme devastation, aid and support are the only way forward. These three organizations are just a few out of many global aid agencies assisting the survivors of Cyclone Freddy.
– Alex Hasenkamp