Disaster Recovery Appeal

Disaster Recovery Appeal

Disaster Recovery Appeal

Southern and Central Malawi have been battered by two severe storms since the start of this year. 

As a result, the Community Outreach Team are working extra hard to provide the additional support currently needed by many children and their families living in the rural communities we serve.  

With many still also feeling the effects of the pandemic, we need your help to meet increased demand on our outreach services and are looking to raise £5,000 before the end of June. 

Please donate now to our Disaster Recovery Appeal and help get Malawian families back on their feet. 

A boy and his family with supplies of clothing and maize

What's been happening in Malawi?

Tropical Storm Ana arrived in Malawi on the evening of January 24th 2022. It rained continuously for three days. The Storm greatly affected the Southern and Central Regions of Malawi, laying waste to infrastructures and farms and killing livestock. Tropical Cyclone Gombe in late March further exacerbated damage and loss.

Smallholders running businesses in distant markets missed weeks of trade due to collapsed roads and bridges. This impact of this was particularly significant after months of on-again, off-again restrictions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of families in rural Malawi rely on subsistence farming, so natural disasters such as these are detrimental to both their livelihoods and food security. 

The photo on the right shows a maize crop in Chikwawa destroyed by the floods (photo credit: Badre Bahaji, WFP) - something many of the families supported through the Open Arms Community Outreach Programme have suffered in recent months.

Chikwawa Maize Damage Badre Bahaji Wfp

Food insecurity and disaster risk reinforce one another

“Disasters have shattering consequences on food security, and food-insecurity increases vulnerability, leading to a downward spiral in which rural livelihoods are increasingly eroded (Garschagen et al., 2015). In disaster situations, food-insecure people might find themselves forced to take desperate measures to address immediate needs, often compromising their livelihoods and increasing their vulnerability and exposure. ” - Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations

How has it affected communities we work with?

A number of the 288 families currently supported by Open Arms were affected by the storms, with many losing their crops and livestock and some suffering significant damage to their homes or losing them entirely (as shown in the photos below). Other belongings such as clothes and household goods were also lost with the flooding.

Some were able to successfully find temporary shelter from relatives and neighbours, but food security remains their biggest fear for the rest of the year. The overriding negative impact has been the loss of maize crops at the point that they were halfway grown and without the resources to replant their maize fields, they face an extremely challenging year ahead.

How is Open Arms helping?

The Open Arms Community Outreach Programme exists to ensure children can successfully return home to their families and continue to thrive in their care. It is specially designed to give tailored advice and support as and when it is needed, specific to individual family needs. This can include advice on anything from health and hygiene to parenting, and essentials such as food, seeds and fertilizer, medicine and clothing.

Regular monitoring and support is absolutely crucial, as it equips and empowers families to survive challenging periods such as this latest natural disaster. 

Lent 22 Food Distribution

The Outreach Team are continuing to assess current needs and working hard to provide the additional support needed to help communities get back on their feet, including;

- More regular outreach visits to carefully monitor food shortages and to offer appropriate advice and support. (This is leading to significantly higher transport costs.)

- Securing maize for the families we support. Depending on funds available the team will forward buy maize at the beginning of the harvest while it is available at an affordable price. This secures food for the children at Open Arms Infant Homes as well as the families we support in remote communities. Later in the year prices will be much higher, stocks will run low or run out completely meaning that the support available will be limited.

A little girl stands in front of bags of maize.

How can you help?

Open Arms rely on your support to continue providing these vital services.

We are looking to raise £5,000 by the end of June to help the team in Malawi meet current demand.

If you’re able to, please click the button below to make a gift now: 

Together we can alleviate the urgent need for food, as well as set children and families in these communities up for long term recovery and self sufficiency.

Thank you!

Appeal Donations

Your donation will help children in Malawi grow up healthy with the love of a family


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