Sant'Egidio say people continue to suffer in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai
On March 14, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi was hit by Cyclone Idai killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands stranded. The people there are now also having to deal with a cholera outbreak. This is because of the damage caused to water and sanitation systems.
During one of his General Audience in March, Pope Francis had this to say soon after the cyclone, calling for support to all those affected.
“To these beloved populations I express my pain and my closeness. I entrust the many victims and their families to the mercy of God. I implore comfort and support for those affected by this disaster.”
Mira Gianturco was in Mozambique, Beira to assist there soon after the devastation. According to her, she says now the people have no food.
“There is nothing more because two thirds of the population even in the province of Sofala are farmers and survive with what they cultivate for which there is no food.”
She is a part of the Sant'Egidio Catholic community. It is an organization focused on fraternally assisting those living on the peripheries of society.
Mira Gianturco also helps run the Sant'Egidio's BRAVO program in Mozambique. It seeks to ensure all children have a Birth Registration Certificate. This is because young children without certificates are more likely to be sexually exploited and trafficked. According to Sant'Egidio, every year in 51 million children in the world are not registered.
Sant'Egidio also run a program in Africa called “Dream.” Since the 1990s it has been providing HIV and AID treatment to children as well as adults.
During the cyclone, their offices were badly damaged. However, now they have managed to open up again; and are continuing in giving treatment to the people there.
“I want to ask the people that if they want to assist this country we are collecting money and resources. This is because we are able to provide food, vaccines, treatment and drinkable water very rapidly. However, of course we need more help.”
According to Mira Gianturco, although the people there are suffering they are still joyful and supporting one another.
However, since April 25 Mozambique is experiencing another cyclone. It has caused more serious damage to towns and communities.
According to UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, it is the first time in Mozambique two cyclones have occurred in the same season; and these areas urgently need international assistance.
It is hoped Pope Francis visit in September will help further encourage the people there amid these problems.