Cyclone Idai: Long-term recovery lifts off with Food for Assets

Jan 20, 2020
2-MINUTE READ
“I was very afraid. The house began to shake,” recounts 15-year-old Paulito. That was just the beginning of his traumatic encounter with Cyclone Idai when it struck Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in March 2019.  

Across southern Africa, more than 2.5 million people were affected, including Paulito, his mother and two siblings. In and around Beira, Mozambique, where the family’s home is located, torrential rains and flooding killed more than 600 people and orphaned thousands of children.  

In this region of the country, the vast majority of people rely on farming for their food and livelihoods. For them, the most devastating effect of the storm was the 700,000 hectares of flooded land left in its wake.  

Thanks to donors like you, Canada was part of the global response to Cyclone Idai, providing immediate emergency relief.  

World Vision then faced the challenge of restoring food security, while also rebuilding the community infrastructure that’s so essential for long term recovery. By partnering with the World Food Programme’s Food for Assets initiative, both objectives could be accomplished.  

This resourceful program, though not new, is still considered an innovative approach to emergency relief. Food for Assets provides assistance through cash, voucher or food transfers. In return, recipients participate in the rehabilitation of their own communities. This includes everything from replanting crops to building wells, and training in livelihood and agricultural practices.  

Food for Assets reached more than 161,000 individuals in Mozambique and helped empower storm survivors to take ownership over their community’s rejuvenation. Moving forward, it means children like Paulito can continue to enjoy healthy, nutritious meals with their families long after the immediate impact of Cyclone Idai’s devastation has been overcome.

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