Flemish Red Cross sends aid to Malawi after cyclone Freddy devastation

Flemish Red Cross sends aid to Malawi after cyclone Freddy devastation
The tropical cyclone travelled for more than two weeks across the Indian Ocean before hitting the coast of south-east Africa. Nasa Earth Observatory Image of the Day for February 22, 2023. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Red Cross Flanders is releasing €100,000 from its emergency relief fund for humanitarian support following the passage of storm Freddy in south-east Africa. In addition, two experienced staff will leave for Malawi to help support emergency relief on the ground.

The effects of tropical cyclone Freddy are greatest in Malawi – where the president has already declared a state of emergency in the 10 most affected districts. But Mozambique is also suffering significant human and material damage. In an earlier phase, storm Freddy also hit Madagascar.

Already nearly 600 people have been announced dead and some 400,000 displaced. In addition, over 100,000 hectares of farmland have been destroyed, threatening a food shortage. "We are also hearing that there are power cuts in the southern and eastern region of Malawi," said Sofie De Jaeger, International Cooperation Manager of Red Cross Flanders. "That in turn has an impact on water treatment and distribution systems, hospitals and telecommunications."

Red Cross Flanders is deploying €100,000 from its emergency relief fund to support the victims. "Initially, we are focusing this financial support on Malawi, because that is where the need is highest," explained De Jaeger. "With this €100,000, we will work on shelter and things to combat the cholera outbreak. For example, tents and tarpaulins for the displaced people, or hygiene products – such as chlorine tablets for water purification and soap – to prevent cholera infections."

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Red Cross Flanders has permanent staff in Mozambique, working with the local Red Cross there to coordinate the relief effort.

Those wishing to contribute can do so via account number BE53 0000 0000 5353 with the mention "storm Freddy".

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