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Update on the Malawi Cyclone Freddy response

Update on the Malawi Cyclone Freddy response

The Malawi government assessment reports show that Cyclone Freddy adversely affected 2,267,458 people. Out of this, 659,278 are displaced and still living in 767 camps. A total of 2,171 were reported injured, 676 were confirmed dead and 533 still missing. Crops ready for harvest on over 179,223 hectares (442,000 acres) of land were destroyed and numerous livestock were killed in the storm. A total of 882,989 households had their houses either partially or completely damaged.  

For those involved in the PA programs, a total of 981 church (shalom) households from 16 CIFA group communities were directly impacted by the cyclone. We are thankful that God spared most lives as our pastors are alive with only some of them reporting the death of church members and relatives. A large percentage of them lost their livelihoods as family houses collapsed, and their belongings including livestock, harvested food, and farm fields, were washed away in the floods. Numerous of them are living in camps. 

Within a week of the cyclone, PA was on the ground to try to contact the pastors and their members. As we reached to ascertain the situation, we immediately realized the adverse nature of the need and determined to immediately initiate an emergency relief – the One-dollar-a-day for 30 days program. Our immediate concern was to keep people who had lost everything alive as the government organized itself to start bringing help. As of the end of the emergency response cycle, we have helped 206 pastors directly and through them supported 1187 households i.e. reaching over 7,000 people. 

With your help, our donors, the PA response was the first on the ground in all of these communities. The government had no means to reach the people given the nature of the destruction that had happened including washed away roads, bridges, and telephone infrastructure that was done. We managed to reach our partners because of our developed CIFA group network which allowed us to reach most people by contacting a few of their leaders who are on the ground. In some cases, they carried us on makeshift boats on flood rivers to get to where the affected people were. 

Working with the pastors and the CIFA groups, we enhanced their leadership and goodwill in the community as they were the ones who had immediate ways to help people. This made the communities realize the importance of the church and the pastors. Several pastors who have not been part of our training, started realizing the importance. The pastors also found it easy to organize their members for spiritual and psychological care through the Shalom group network. 

The money we gave has helped those we reached buy food, replace household utensils and blankets which were washed away by floods, and some have used the money to buy plastic paper with which they have constructed makeshift structures for accommodation of their families as they wait and hope to rebuild

We are now moving into the second phase which is a focus to help them restore and return to their table banking and income-generating activities. We believe that providing affordable microloans and related training to help them reconstruct their own lives is the most stable way to assist these people. As we set to lead them in rebuilding their table banking, we hope they will replant their gardens, restock their grocery stores and maybe buy some of the lost livestock and hopefully rebuild better shelters for their families. Our goal is that our help moves them away from an entitlement mindset and handouts to self-reliance. 

Many of you have given to our two recent matches THANK YOU!  
  • The original $50,000 match was met.  Praise God!
  • Now we have received 75% of our goal to match an additional $25,000.  This money will help fund the micro loans.  We need $6,250 to reach this match goal.  Would you help us reach this goal? 
With God all things are possible …

Support for Cyclone Freddy

#2 Cyclone Freddy Matched Donation


#1 Cyclone Freddy Matched Donation


Doug Reed
Doug Reed

Managing Director at Possibilties Africa