IsraAID’s Emergency Response to Cyclone Freddy kicks off in Malawi

30 March, 2023

sraAID’s emergency response team has arrived in Malawi and has begun its cholera prevention program in the southern city of Blantyre. Located in the heart of the region affected by Cyclone Freddy, the team of experts in Health and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene will set up cholera prevention points at centers for internally displaced people, as the country faces a major outbreak of the disease.

IsraAID’s Emergency Response Team, which is made up of experts from headquarters and regional offices in Kenya and South Sudan, arrived in Malawi on Monday. The team will focus on providing safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, prevention and treatment for early signs of cholera, and a referral system to cholera treatment centers.

Cyclone Freddy, the longest lasting cyclone in recorded history, made its second landfall on March 12, bringing torrential rains, flooding, and mudslides to southern Malawi. To date, over 700 people have been killed in the storm, with 511 in Malawi alone. Over 500,000 people have been displaced across the country, and are living in temporary camps. The country, which was already coping with a deadly cholera epidemic, is facing renewed fears of a double emergency.  Malawi’s ongoing cholera outbreak has seen more than 56,000 cases and 1,700 deaths since March 2022.

On March 24th, the Government of Malawi declared that search and rescue operations had been completed, and humanitarian efforts are now focused on cholera prevention and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene interventions. IsraAID’s response in Malawi is supported by AJC, alongside other donors and partners and the IsraAID Emergency Fund.

IsraAID began working in neighboring Mozambique following Cyclone Idai in March of 2019, and remains there today with a long-term mission focused on humanitarian needs in conflict-stricken Cabo Delgado province. With the help of Adi Timor of Timor Group, the organization is in close collaboration with the Office of the President of Malawi, after the President’s office requested IsraAID’s support based on their expertise in the region.

To support IsraAID’s work in Malawi, donations can be made to the Emergency Fund.

IsraAID’s Head of Health Sector, Sita Cacioppe, said:

“After an emergency like Cyclone Freddy, lack of access to hygiene supplies and safe drinking water are the leading causes of cholera’s spread. We are dedicated to providing Malawi’s most vulnerable populations with the resources and knowledge they need to stop the spread of the disease and build resilience in the face of future health crises. This response is a unique collaboration, between health and water experts, and with professionals from our missions in South Sudan and Kenya joining the team.”

-ENDS-

Further information is available on request, including interviews with IsraAID CEO Yotam Polizer and other individuals involved in this operation.

PHOTOGRAPHS:

Photographs of our team’s work in Malawi can be found here. All photographs should be credited to IsraAID/Lameck Ododo

CONTACT:

Shachar May
Email: [email protected]

Notes

IsraAID is a leading international humanitarian non-governmental organization, based in Israel. Since 2001, IsraAID has become synonymous with a rapid response to humanitarian crises. Its medical teams, post-trauma experts, community specialists and other professionals have led international responses to disasters and civil strife around the world. During and after emergencies, IsraAID partners with local communities to re-build their lives, their communities and their futures, together. As of March 2023, IsraAID has responded to crises in more than 60 countries.

 

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