Africa

Cyclone Idai: How you can help the victims of the devastation in Africa

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The UN says that one of the worst storms to hit South-West Africa has unleashed a humanitarian crisis. Here's how you can help.

As the full-scale devastation caused by Cyclone Idai is revealed more each day, the death toll has risen past 750. 

But a host of humanitarian and relief organisations are on the ground in South-West Africa assisting the survivors.

The UN now estimates 1.85 million people have been impacted by the cyclone in Mozambique alone and the Government is making preparations for a cholera outbreak it says is inevitable.

Hundreds of people are still trapped by floodwaters and the size of the disaster zone has complicated aid efforts. 

"At least one million children need urgent assistance and this number may well grow. We fear that whole villages have been washed away in places we have yet to reach," Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters at the United Nations.

People recover their belongings after the passage of the cyclone Idai in Matarara, Mozambique.
People recover their belongings after the passage of the cyclone Idai in Matarara, Mozambique.
AAP

The United Nations says it will need a total of US$337 million to fully fund the disaster response. 

So far, only 2 percent of that amount has been raised. 

The following humanitarian organisations have established funds to help those in need:

Red Cross

Red Cross material says it is distributing shelter supplies to affected families and extra supplies are being brought in by ship from a French Red Cross facility on Réunion Island.

Red Cross volunteers in Beira are also handing out chlorine so that people can purify water.

A view on a damaged house after cyclone Idai hit Chimanimani, 500 km east of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe.
A view on a damaged house after cyclone Idai hit Chimanimani, 500 km east of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe.
EPA

Also Red Cross is "helping reconnect separated families and has sent a forensics specialist to the area to help manage the dead in a dignified way".

A spokesperson for the group said "waterborne diseases can increase in the aftermath of a disaster such as this due to the contamination of the water supply and disruption of usual water treatment. Outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis, hepatitis, cholera and other diseases could follow as a result".

DONATE TO THE RED CROSS HERE.

Plan International

Plan International fears girls displaced by the cyclone face an increased risk of gender-based abuse and discrimination. 

"Girls who lost their homes and are living in shelters face many risks, including gender-based sexual abuse and violence," Plan International's Regional Head of Disaster Risk Management Stuart Katwikirize said.

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"Many people are sheltering in schools, churches and public buildings, which are overcrowded, and don’t have separate bathrooms for girls and women, so girls may face the risk of attack if they get up in the night to go to the bathroom."

Disaster teams have been deployed, but access to affected areas is a major constraint in the delivery of aid, with many roads and bridges destroyed by the cyclone.

DONATE TO PLAN INTERNATIONAL HERE.

CARE Australia

Material from CARE says it is working with other organisations and local authorities in Mozambique to minimize the impact of the cyclone.

This includes the provision of seeds and livestock, water purification tablets, menstrual hygiene items, jerry cans and soap, emergency latrines and hygiene education to prevent water contamination and water-borne diseases.

DONATE TO CARE AUSTRALIA HERE.

Oxfam

Oxfam's Mozambique director Rotafina Donco said people who have lost their homes are now in transit camps haven’t eaten for days.

Meanwhile others are still waiting to be rescued - clinging to treetops or on mountainsides.

Upwards of 15,000 people are reported to be awaiting rescue in flood-stricken Mozambique alone.

“Food prices are rocketing,” Ms Donco said.

Oxfam's Machinda Marongwe from Zimbabwe spoke of the pain evident on people’s faces.

"Their hope is gone. Disaster following disaster,” she said.

A family dig for their son who got buried in the mud when Cyclone Idai struck in Chimanimani about 600 kilometres south east of Harare, Zimbabwe.
A family dig for their son who got buried in the mud when Cyclone Idai struck in Chimanimani about 600 kilometres south east of Harare, Zimbabwe.
AP

"Some people were without any clean water.

“Aid could give them some hope … hope that others are listening and wanting to help them.”

DONATE TO OXFAM HERE.

Save the Children

Humanitarians are urging those wanting to help to think practically.

Nurses of Beira Central Hospital help to clean the streets of debris after the passage of the cyclone Idai in Beira City.
Nurses of Beira Central Hospital help to clean the streets of debris after the passage of the cyclone Idai in Beira City.
LUSA

Organisations often receive donations like clothes, food and toys for disaster areas.

"It's just not practical - people need assistance today," Save the Children's Greg Ramm told Global Citizen.

DONATE TO SAVE THE CHILDREN HERE.

World Vision 

World Vision says it is working on the ground to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation in communities devasted by Cyclone Idai.

CEO Claire Rogers has travelled to the disaster zone and says the charity is deeply concerned about the safety of children impacted by the cyclone.

“Tiny babies in Beira’s main hospital died when the electricity for their care went out. This chilling fact demonstrates how children are always the most vulnerable in disasters like this,” Ms Rogers said.

“On the ground, we’re working hard to get aid through, help families rebuild their lives, and protect children.”

DONATE TO WORLDVISION HERE.

United Nations

The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund ensures aid reaches those most affected.

“The CERF funds will complement the three governments’ immediate efforts to provide life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to affected communities, including in health, food security, protection, nutrition and education,” UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said.

“Vulnerable groups such as children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with disabilities, and those affected by chronic illnesses will be prioritised."

DONATE TO CERF HERE

Australia for UNHCR

UN partner charity Australia for UNHCR is assisting with fundraising efforts to help those displaced by the disaster. 

"This emergency appeal will help UNHCR relocate the families to higher ground, and provide emergency shelter, clean water, sanitation and core relief items," a spokesperson for the organisation said. 

"Beyond this, UNHCR stands ready to provide further assistance in support of the governments’ response, as part of the inter-agency efforts across all the affected countries."

DONATE TO AUSTRALIA FOR UNHCR HERE.

Additional reporting: AFP, Reuters

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