Ford Fund Assists with Disaster Relief after Cyclone Idai

Ford Fund Assists with Disaster Relief after Cyclone Idai
  • Ford Motor Company Fund has contributed a $20 000 grant to Save the Children non-profit organisation (NPO) for disaster relief efforts in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi
  • $10 000 grant issued to SOS Children's Village
  • Over 300 000 people displaced and an estimated 1.5-million children affected by Cyclone Idai

The Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, has donated $30 000 (approximately R423 000) to assist those - especially children - affected by Cyclone Idai, which devastated large parts of Mozambique during March this year. Areas of Zimbabwe and Malawi were also affected.

International and local organisations called for material and financial support, and the Ford Fund's Disaster Relief division has assisted two non-profit organisations: Save The Children South Africa received a grant of $20 000, and SOS Children's Village received $10 000.

Millions of adults and children are exposed to daily risks and dangers in the aftermath of the natural disaster which has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced more than 300 000 people. Picking up the pieces poses many challenges for ordinary people, and with infrastructure destroyed and large tracts of land still flooded, it will be many months before life returns to any sense of normality.

An estimated 1.5-million children have been affected across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe as a result of Cyclone Idai, with many people losing family members, their homes and all of their belongings. As well as fundamental needs like clean drinking water, food, shelter and sanitation, there is a need for assistance in other areas, including psychological support and preparing for a looming serious health crisis in the wake of the cyclone, with an outbreak of cholera the most pressing concern.

Beira, the country's fourth largest city, is home to an SOS Children's Village. While the buildings are still largely intact, repairs are needed to enable work to continue. Villages in Chimoio and Tete are undamaged, but they will have their work cut out as civilians turn to them for help.

Save The Children South Africa, meanwhile, has been distributing much-needed relief items to families in Zimbabwe and Malawi as well as Mozambique, and have already provided support to 8 000 people. Many have lost everything, and tents, tarpaulins, blankets and the means to purify water are true life-savers in many instances.

Save The Children is aiming to set up 80 'Child Friendly Spaces' in Mozambique, which will act as safe havens and temporary learning spaces. Identifying children and re-uniting them with families is also high on the agenda.

"While the countries affected by the cyclone begin the arduous process of trying to recover from this disaster, it is essential that the aftermath doesn't turn into a second, largely humanitarian crisis," says Kyle Green, International Coordinator, Ford Motor Company Fund. "Acting on the plea for assistance from SOS Children's Village and Save The Children is our way of ensuring that the most vulnerable and innocent receive as much help as possible as they start trying to rebuild their lives," adds Green.

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