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People displaced by massive cyclone receive emergency food

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More than 11,000 people displaced by Cyclone Idai in southern Malawi will receive food from Canadian Foodgrains Bank through an emergency response of Foodgrains Bank member World Renew.

Heavy rains swept through the country in early March, causing widespread flooding. Several days later, a cyclone with winds over 280 kilometres an hour touched down in the country, destroying homes, roads, infrastructure, and crops.

More than 80,000 people were displaced from their homes.

In Chikwawa district, where the Foodgrains Bank is responding, 64,000 people were displaced. They are now living in camps until flood waters have receded and clean-up is complete.

“The destruction and chaos inflicted by the cyclone has devastated the lives of thousands of Malawians,” says Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius. “Families need help in the immediate aftermath, and they need support that walks alongside them as they recover.”

Cornelius notes that the cyclone not only devastated this year’s crops that were still on the field, but also the food many families had stored.

The project is being implemented through World Renew’s Malawian partner Eagles Relief and Development Programme.

“World Renew has a long history of working in Malawi with capable local partners,” says Kenneth Kim, director of disaster response at World Renew and chair of the Foodgrains Bank board of directors.

“These partners have helped us to better understand the needs on the ground, and they are now working hard to make sure that emergency food can get to those in greatest need.”

Through the project, 11,000 people living in five camps will receive emergency maize flour, beans, and oil to help them get by for four months. They will also receive quick maturing maize and bean seeds to help them begin producing a small amount of food before the main planting season returns.

The emergency project is receiving financial support from the Government of Canada, and totals $657,000.

Amanda Thorsteinsson, Communications Coordinator

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