Episcopal Relief & Development responds to 2023 cyclones

Episcopal Relief & Development
Posted Jul 18, 2023

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting partners in seven countries following cyclones and heavy rain in Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania. Through these responses with nine local partners, Episcopal Relief & Development will reach over 12,000 people and an additional 6,000 households.

Cyclone Freddy, which lasted for 36 days and had Category 5 hurricane equivalent strength, made landfall in Madagascar in February before hitting Mozambique twice followed by Malawi. At least 400 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced. In response, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with Eklesia Episkopaly Malagasy (EEM or Anglican Communion in Madagascar), the Anglican Council of Malawi and Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola in Mozambique to provide food, shelter, water, livestock support, hygiene materials and other items.

“The 2022-2023 cyclone season had devastating effects on several countries,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer, Disaster Resilience, Episcopal Relief & Development. “While Cyclone Freddy made the most news in the United States, several other storms caused major damage. We have been coordinating with our local partners to meet the unique needs of each community.”

In March, twin cyclones, Judy and Kevin, hit Vanuatu, leaving more than 80% of the population affected with many homes destroyed and residents without safe drinking water. Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Anglican Church of Melanesia-Vanuatu to distribute food, construction materials, water and hygiene kits to 4,000 people in Tafae, Shefa and Malampa provinces.

Cyclone Mocha made landfall in Myanmar, killing more than 400 people and leaving millions of others without shelter, drinking water and fuel. Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting Anglicans in Development who is providing food, water and temporary shelter to 1,000 people.

In Peru, rain and wind from Cyclone Yaku killed at least six people and caused landslides that left homes buried in mud. Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Diocese of Peru to provide 140 households in Jicamarca and Chaclacayo with food, water, blankets and school kits.

In response to heavy rainfall, Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Province of the Anglican Church in Congo with the Diocese of Bukavu to provide cash transfers to 100 marginalized households as well as training faith leaders on pastoral and counseling support. In Mozambique, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Diocese of Lebombo to provide food, hygiene and sanitation packs, school materials and agricultural support to more than 2,000 people, including over 200 children.

“We continue to pray for all those who have been affected by these storms,” said Nesiah.  “Our local partners have been very effective in responding to and reaching out to the most vulnerable.”