CBM and its partners are using their expertise to help people, especially persons with disabilities, in great need as a result of Cyclone Freddy in Malawi.
On March 13, tropical storm "Freddy", which has been raging for more than a month, caused severe devastation in south-east Africa. According to official figures, at least 190 people were killed in Malawi alone - thousands of people have lost everything. The storm has severely damaged infrastructure, making it difficult to provide much-needed aid. CBM is providing 100,000 euros in emergency aid to support the people on the ground quickly and without bureaucracy.
"The cyclone is hitting Malawi at an extremely difficult time," says Roland Schlott, Head of Humanitarian Action at CBM. "The country is currently battling the worst wave of cholera in its history. A natural disaster like this can exacerbate the spread of diseases like cholera," Schlott said. "That's why it's important now to restore clean water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure as quickly as possible."
CBM Can Mobilise Aid Quickly
Our partners "Mulanje Mission Hospital" and "The Hunger Project Malawi" have already provided assistance for affected persons with and without disabilities last year after the devastation caused by Cyclone Ana. Since then, CBM has been on the ground with disaster preparedness in southern Malawi, which was particularly badly affected, and can therefore mobilise aid quickly in this situation. In doing so, CBM is working with its local partners to determine how aid can efficiently reach those who are quickly forgotten in emergency situations: Persons with disabilities.
They are excluded from offers of help because they cannot hear announcements, read signs, or reach dry land.
"In emergencies, they are particularly vulnerable," says Schlott.
"After all, how is a person with a walking disability supposed to walk through mud and debris? How is a blind or hearing-impaired person supposed to find their way in the chaos of such a natural disaster? It is precisely these people who are the first to be forgotten in such disasters and the last to receive help." Roland Schlott, Head of the CBM Humanitarian Action Initiative
That is why persons with disabilities are at the centre of all CBM relief efforts - whether it is providing urgently needed first aid, distributing food or providing medical or rehabilitation assistance. CBM also provides cash transfers to affected households in Malawi so that they can provide themselves with the basic necessities in the first three months after the disaster.