Up to 2.5 million people have been left in urgent need of humanitarian aid after Cyclone Idai destroyed large parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church, is asking for support for their 2019 Lenten Appeal so as they can bring urgent life-saving care to people in the worst affected areas.

The cyclone hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi last weekend, destroying homes and crops. As well as leaving people in need of shelter and food, Trócaire has warned that the long-term effects of the cyclone could be devastating as entire crops have been destroyed.

“People in the region were waiting for rain so as their crops could grow, but what hit them was a cyclone that has destroyed everything in its wake,” said Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra.

“Trócaire is working with local partners in badly affected areas. We will be providing emergency relief to families who have lost their homes and crops. The long-term implications of this cyclone are enormous. People in the region could be left facing months of hunger as a result of the loss of crops.

“Trócaire will be there to support them throughout this crisis. Donations to our Lent Appeal will be used to support people in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique, as well as in other parts of the world where people are in urgent need.”

The cyclone hit on Thursday at around 7.00pm local time. It started with mild rain and strong winds but soon developed into a full-scale cyclone that lasted until Sunday. Trócaire’s local partners have been assessing affected areas. In one village of 350 houses, they reported that 30 per cent of the houses were completely destroyed.

The cyclone has left many areas inaccessible by both road and air, meaning that no official assessment has been done in large parts of the region.

Up to 2.5 million people are already known to be affected but that figure could rise as remote regions are reached.

Trócaire are making an appeal for donations now. You can find out more on their donation page.

ENDS

Pitcure shows Nyasha, Shantel and Andrew standing in front of their home which collapsed while they were sleeping. (Pic: Simbarashe Chagwiza).