The cyclone has left a trail of destruction, killing hundreds of people and affecting an estimated 2.6 million people across the three southern African countries. Houses, bridges and roads have been ripped apart and agricultural land is completely submerged. More than 750 people are confirmed dead and 400,000 have lost their homes.
CAFOD expert Gabriele, currently working with the Church in Mozambique, said: “We know that Idai has wiped out crops and livestock, damaged water supplies and wrecked sanitation facilities, leaving vulnerable families even more exposed. With the support and generosity of the Catholic community, we can reach the people who really need urgent emergency aid.”
CAFOD’s new director, Christine Allen, said: “Vital humanitarian aid is needed for the millions of people made homeless and our priority is to reach the most vulnerable with food and clean water, basic shelter and hygiene kits.
“The scale of the crisis is such that the Disasters Emergency Committee, of which CAFOD is a member, has launched a full-scale humanitarian appeal.
“Most of all, I ask you please to keep the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in your prayers.”
Parishes are being asked to hold a second collection on one of the two coming two weekends.
Our Lady and St Thomas of Canterbury in Wymondham has already acted after Jane Crone, CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator for the Diocese of East Anglia, spoke at Mass last Sunday. The church held a collection and raised £130 from a Spud Sunday meal (right) after Mass.
Jane said: ‘CAFOD supporters in parishes and schools have spoken of their concern for those affected by this terrible cyclone. Please do take a look at our website for up to date information on how CAFOD’s local experts are responding to the situation or to donate to the emergency appeal.”
Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Department of International Affairs at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said: “In times of desperate need, we are called to reach out to our sisters and brothers and show we are standing alongside them, many of whom have lost family members, friends, their homes and livelihood.
“The DEC appeal is a way for the UK community and its members, including CAFOD, to offer support, compassion and love to families who have lost everything.
“Just as Pope Francis calls for prayer and action for the families whose lives have been devastated, I ask Catholics across England and Wales to support the DEC appeal and keep the people affected by this tragedy in their prayers.”
The DEC appeal has raised £18 million since launching on Thursday March 21.
Read more about the Cyclone Idai appeal, download resources and donate at www.cafod.org.uk/cycloneidai
Pictured above, an accommodation centre in Beira, Mozambique, where more than 200 families are staying in a small school, has been turned into a displacement centre. Picture by British Red Cross.