Southeast Africa: the force of solidarity

The updated number of deaths in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi up to now exceeds 700, caused by the Idai Cyclone that for the past two weeks has devastated southwestern Africa. The approximate total number of victims in Mozambique is 446, in Zimbabwe 259, and in Malawi 56.

According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, that number may reach up to 1000, as victims are continually being found. Even those who have already been rescued are in serious danger of being contaminated by diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and cholera, as there are not enough food, water, medication supplies, and even local shelters for the people who are not getting enough emergency aid.

Survivors of the Idai Cyclone Reach Center for homeless in Beira (Denis Onyodi/Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Center/Reuters)

“The situation is extremely serious, as some zones in the province have become completely flooded. The main city hospital is damaged, so, even people arriving by helicopter from elsewhere are not getting medical care, due to insufficient means and improperly equipped medical treatment rooms. A great number of people has lost their homes, schools have been damaged, the Health Science college where I work also suffered a lot of damages”, reports the Comboni missionary, Monica Luparello, who lives in the city of Beira, Mozambique, one of the most destroyed by the cyclone.

Even the majority of the roads have been destroyed in Mozambique from the passing of the cyclone and hundreds of people are being rescued from remote regions in the country. Authorities from the southwestern African countries are counting on reopening these highways in order to reach these isolated people.

The whole world has become mobilized to provide humanitarian relief to the victims from this natural disaster, such entities as UNICEF, CNBB, Cáritas (a Brazilian organization), and individual initiatives from private parties who have come to provide solidarity to this tragic occurrence.

UNICEF has sent aid to people affected by the cyclone in those three countries, but the teams fear there will be more critical conditions in the next few days. “Our resources are overloaded. Initially, we need 30 million dollars in this first responder phase, and we are confident that our public and private donors will be generous to the millions of children and families who are need relief”, confirmed the executive director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore.

The Fernando Leite Couto Foundation, from the Mozambican writer Mia Couto, who was born in the city of Beira, is also collecting donations to help the Idai cyclone victims. According to a bulletin from the Foundation website, the collected donations will be appropriated to immediate actions that will be supplied jointly with the Red Cross, and in reconstructing “infrastructures and buildings”.

Mozambique was the most affected country by the Idai tropical storm and it is being constantly mobilized to provide support to victimized people in the central region of the country. A solidarity campaign is being organized by the Mozambican economic sector and initiatives by the World Food Program are also being done, as food relief is being distributed by air.

Survivors of the Idai cyclone in evacuation center in the city of Beira, Mozambique. 21/03/19 Denis Onyodi/Red Cross/Handout via Reuter

The Doctors Without Border organization is working in the areas affected by the Idai tropical storm, in the southwestern region of Africa. The DWB teams in Mozambique are delivering medical supplies to Beira. The organization intends through these actions to assure the recovery of medical care activities in the region that was almost completely destroyed, due to the extremely bad flooding.

The Brazilian National Bishop Conference, CNBB, and Cáritas in Brazil have launched an appeal for relief to the cyclone victims, named SOS Africa: Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. The resources collected will be sent to those three countries for immediate relief initiatives to supply drinking water, foods, clothing, blankets, personal hygiene kits, medications, first-aid, and tents that will be coordinated by Cáritas Internacional.

“Missão África” (Africa Mission), an NGO transforming the lives of young people and adults in Mozambique and Brazil, through education and nutrition, arrived in Mozambique yesterday. The team is already organizing donations coming from Brazil and will be sent to Dondo, a city where the NGO is carrying out projects.

The Federal University of Pernambuco, UFPE, and the Pernambuco University, UPE, through an initiative by professors and students are collecting donations of clothing, footwear, school supplies, and personal hygiene to be sent to these countries. Besides that, Mozambican professors and students from some universities in the country are involved in collecting funds, through bank deposits and online donation campaigns.

Celebrities, like Gareth Bale, a soccer player are making appeals to help the southwestern African Cyclone victims. “It is devastating to see the severe impact from the Idai Cyclone that has affected millions of people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe – so much wreckage in homes, schools, and hospitals”. UNICEF is supplying emergency supplies and working against the clock to assume considerable recovery of the two million affected people – a great deal of them are children “, wrote Bale.

PMA distributes food aid in Búzi and Guaraguara, by PMA/Deborah Nguyen

Joss Stone, an English singer will hold a solidarity relief concert for Mozambique, in Cape Verde on the island of Santiago next month. According to information from Paralax Produções, the company organizing the event, the singer had already planned a show in Cape Verde, but now it was suggested on the possibility of holding a benefit concert to supply relief to the Mozambicans. Besides Cape Verde, other Portuguese speaking African countries as Guinea Bissau and Angola will also ride the wave of solidarity to help Mozambique, their sister country.


UNICEF and the Red Cross

Donations can be made on the websites of these organizations.

Cáritas Brasil/ SOS África

Cáritas Brasileira CNPJ (entity fiscal number: 33.654.419/0001-16

Donations can be made through bank deposit in the following accounts:

“Banco do Brasil” (Bank of Brazil): Agency: 0452-9; Current Account Number: 49.667-7

“Caixa Econômica Federal” (Federal Economic Bank): Agency: 1041 – Transaction: 003; Current Account Number: 4322-3

Santander: Agency: 3100; Current Account Number: 13.061645-0

ONG Missão África

Missão África CNPJ (entity fiscal number: 16908250/0001-64

Donations can be made at the following bank accounts: “Banco do Brasil” (Bank of Brazil) (Agency: 1001-4, Current Account Number: 119.273- 6) and “Caixa Econômica Federal” (Federal Economic Bank): (Agency: 3961, Current Account Number: 2919-8, Transaction: 003).

Online donation website:

The following is the link to the online donation initiative created by Carlos Subuhana, the Mozambican professor at the “Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro- Brasileira” (The International Afro-Brazilian Portuguese Speaking Country Integration University), UNILAB- Brazil.