Oxfam Canada welcomes Government of Canada’s response to Cyclone Idai, hopes Canadians will join to double the impact of their donations

(Ottawa) – Oxfam Canada, along with the members of the Humanitarian Coalition, welcomes the Government of Canada’s decision today to match donations by Canadians in response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

As a result of the government’s announcement, all donations made to the Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies from March 15 to April 14 will be matched, up to $2 million. That means every dollar will have double the impact.

Up to three million people in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been hit with severe flooding and at least 220,000 people have been displaced and are living in congested makeshift camps and schools.  Responding to this type of emergency is about speed in order to reach survivors as soon as possible. Lives literally depend on getting funding, equipment and the right people in position now and in the coming weeks.

“In a situation like this, where people are living on top of each other, in places where we are only just managing to reach, diseases like cholera can spread like wild fire. In the last 48 hours, Oxfam has mobilized water trucking and set up taps stands to get more than 4,000 people clean water. This is the difference between life and death right now,” said Dorothy Sang, Humanitarian Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, who was deployed to respond to Cyclone Idai.

The number of people impacted by Cyclone Idai is staggering. Infrastructure including roads, bridges, communications, schools and hospitals have been wiped out, water systems have been damaged and people have lost their homes, possessions, crops and livelihoods.

In a natural disaster like Cyclone Idai, the needs of women and girls are greatly impacted. Currently more than 74,600 women impacted by the cyclone are estimated to be pregnant, and 60 per cent or 43,000 of these women are expected to give birth in the next six months.

“Canada’s leadership comes at a critical time, as the situation is desperate,” said Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada.

“Our response is focused on providing water, sanitation and shelter, and we will ensure that our response takes into consideration the particular needs of women and children, who are the most affected when disasters like this strike.  We are grateful for the generosity of the Canadian government and the Canadian public, whose support makes our work possible. The donations of individual Canadians, no matter how small, will help us save lives. The need is overwhelming and the time to act is now.”

Canadians can give to Cyclone Idai emergency relief at Oxfam Canada Donate or by calling 1-800-466-9326.

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The Humanitarian Coalition (HC) brings together ten leading aid organizations to provide Canadians with a simple and effective way to help during large-scale humanitarian emergencies.

For more information or to request an interview:

Paula Baker
Media Relations
Oxfam Canada
(613) 240-3047

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