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Published on 27 March 2023

Cyclone Freddy, the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record (lasting 34 days), has hit Malawi and Mozambique. This cyclone is the equivalent of a full North Atlantic hurricane season.

The number of people affected by the Tropical Cyclone in Malawi continues to rise. Over 560,000 people are displaced and hundreds have lost their lives. There's also an increased risk of malaria and cholera in the immediate aftermath.

In the face of this new tragedy, your support is more vital than ever.

Christian Aid Week is at its most powerful when a disaster happens. The fundraising supported by churches, communities and individuals each May allows us to provide relief and support

It’s not just here and there, we are at the receiving end of the worst of climate change... It’s not a matter of saying be charitable to your neighbour, this has to do with loss and damage, this has to do with responses that are not tokenism.

- Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi..

Our response

Our partners and team in Malawi have been responding to the immediate recovery needs of communities. This includes:

  • Corn soya blend for porridge for breastfeeding mothers and children under 5 years
  • Mosquito nets for families to provide protection against malaria 
  • Providing temporary toilets and bathrooms, water containers and water treatment to help prevent the risk of cholera
  • Mobile clinics to help people process the emotional trauma of the cyclone
  • Distribution of cash to 1,000 households so that families can purchase their immediate needs

Update on Jen

Jen and her family are safe but had to abandon their home due to flooding. Some of her crops were destroyed. Jen reports that she has lost the equivalent of ‘2 bags’ of yield, worth at least £79. These are vital funds that she’d planned to use to pay for the secondary school fees of one of her children.

Image credits and information i
Chimwemwe, 14, getting ready for school. Credit: Christian Aid / Adam Heggarty
Woman buttons sons short

Due to the floods, part of my field has also been washed away. I grew maize and pigeon peas in this field... I would like to let people know that we are facing one of the biggest disasters in Malawi and we need their support for us to manage to move out of this. We pray that our God will also help us in getting across these problems.

- Jen, A mum in Malawi featured in our Christian Aid Week 2023 story..

The mighty pigeon pea

Luke Theu, Christian Aid's Country Director for Malawi said: 'The pigeon pea is a crop that can bounce back and support people. Unlike other crops, which can’t be planted in these flood conditions, pigeon peas can. The challenge people will face, is the decline in the expected level of pigeon pea harvest, which could lead to hunger. Therefore, we need additional funds to help people to restore their livelihoods.'

Handful of pigeon peas

Christian Aid Week

Through you, we will be there long after the flood waters recede, helping families build back. Your gifts this May will continue to support the pigeon pea project and other vital work around the world.
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Jen Bishop holding pigeon peas Credit: Christian Aid / Adam Heggarty
Woman holding crops in Malawi

Get involved this Christian Aid Week

The fundraising supported by churches, communities and individuals each May allows us to provide relief and support when disasters hit, as well as underpinning long term development projects.