Global response needed to assist world’s poorest countries battle COVID-19
Concern today called on the international community to urgently assist the world’s poorest countries as they prepare to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Concern Worldwide’s first consignment of emergency aid to assist people forced to flee their homes in Malawi due to severe flooding was delivered this week.
Emergency kits were distributed to people in temporary camps in Nsanje, southern Malawi, one of the worst affected areas. They are among the 87,000 people whose homes have been swept away, damaged, or submerged by flood waters. In many cases, they have lost most of their possessions, their livestock and their crops. Some villages in the Nsanje district are still submerged under flood water.
The kits contain essential items such as plastic sheeting, cooking utensils, mosquito nets and soap.
“These supplies are supported by Irish Aid and will assist 4,500 people who are currently in desperate need,” Concern Worldwide’s Country Director Yousaf Jogezai said. “We are also working with the World Food Programme to begin food distributions in the camps this week.”
Over 800,000 people have been affected by the flooding in the wake of Cyclone Idai in Malawi, with 87,000 displaced, 59 dead and 672 injured.
Mr Jogezai warned that once the flood waters recede sufficiently to allow people return home, they will have a short time period to plant a ‘winter’ crop.
“If they do not plant by March/April (for a crop which will be ready in June/July) they will have to wait until September/October to plant the summer crops which will not be ready to harvest until this time next year,” he said.
Concern will start distributing seeds and tools to people as they begin to return to the land in the next two to three weeks. They will also provide cash transfers to assist people with rebuilding their homes and getting small businesses back and up running.
Meanwhile, Concern Worldwide staff are also working with Cyclone Idai victims in neighbouring Mozambique. The emergency team expects to commence distributing emergency supplies to support 25,000 people later this week. These emergency kits will include tarpaulin, blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets and cooking utensils.
Concern Worldwide Chief Executive Dominic MacSorely today thanked the public for their generous support for the charity’s Cyclone Idai appeal.
“We are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported the appeal to date but we urgently need to raise funds to support people in Mozambique and Malawi who are in desperate need in the wake of the cyclone,” he said.
“The public’s donations are enabling us to directly help some of the world’s poorest people recover from one of the worst weather events to hit the southern hemisphere.”
For more information, contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, at 01 4177712 or 087 9880524.