A trail of destruction
Tropical Cyclone Idai first made landfall during the night of 14 to 15 March 2019 near Beira City, Mozambique. The cyclone, described by the UN as “one of the deadliest storms on record in the southern hemisphere” left a trail of destruction across the three southern African countries Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, killing more than 1000 people, and causing extensive damage to vital infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, sanitation facilities and communication networks.
Many are still missing and feared dead. Access to health, safe water and sanitation has been severely restricted and, in the aftermath, a cholera outbreak has hit Mozambique, with thousands of cases and several fatalities reported. Many are still displaced and in temporary shelters. Thousands of acres of crops nearing harvest were destroyed as the cyclone raged across the region raising fears of severe food insecurity in the months ahead.
One month after the cyclone hit the region, the humanitarian response in all three affected countries, led by the respective governments, continues to scale-up. However, a massive gap remains in funds and non-financial aid needed to mount the necessary response. Less than a quarter of the $390 million needed for the response has been received by the affected countries.