Nestlé Zimbabwe donates towards Cyclone Freddy victims in Malawi Nestle Representative Ms Tavia Matikiti handing over part of the donation to IFRC Head of Cluster delegation for Zimbabwe.

Online Reporter

IN the true spirit of humanity and alleviating suffering, Nestlé Zimbabwe has donated an assortment of foodstuffs worth over US$27 000 to the people of Malawi affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy.

At least 225 people were confirmed dead in Malawi after Tropical Storm Freddy ripped through Southern Africa for the second time in a month.

This has caused extensive damage to houses and public infrastructure and loss of crops and livestock in Blantyre City, Blantyre District, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mulanje, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, Zomba City, and Zomba District.

Many people have been rendered homeless with 193 still missing 1 033 injured, 330 759 people (66 152 households) affected, and 133 153 people (26 631 households) being displaced to 239 camps, evacuation centers and host families.

At least 88 000 people require urgent food and livelihoods support. The donation which was handed over in Harare today includes ready-to-use food which comprises popular cereals with milk, sour porridge and some noodles.

The kind gesture will be forwarded to the Malawi Red Cross Society for distribution to needy communities. Handing over the donation, Nestle Zimbabwe’s representative Ms Tavia Matikiti said it was an honour to give towards a calamity of that magnitude which has affected many lives.

“The donated food we believe will play a critical role in supporting the affected communities meeting some of their food needs,” she said.

Speaking during the handover at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IFRC, offices in Harare, Malawi Deputy Ambassador to Zimbabwe Major General Elias Mpaso hailed Nestlé Zimbabwe for the donation adding that they were overwhelmed by the overall support rendered to Malawians affected by floods.

He was particularly grateful to the Red Cross Movement for being the first to give assistance when the disaster struck in March this year.

“The Red Cross in Malawi were the first humanitarian organization to respond when the floods struck. They have been with us throughout the emergency and now recovery phases. Your assistance is so timely because people need more food, shelter among many other necessities and this donation will go a long way in mitigating the impact of the disaster. We are overwhelmed. Thank you for hearing our cry,” he said.

IFRC Head of Country Cluster Delegation for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi Mr John Antony Roche said they were grateful to their long-standing partnership with Nestlé.

“We are very happy with this initiative to support Malawi which has gone through a lot of hardships worsened by the floods as well as cholera. While growing humanitarian needs outweigh available resources, we are grateful to our partners who have been extremely helpful, and we are glad as we continue to collaborate in serving humanity” he said.

Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, ZRCS, Secretary General Mr Elias Hwenga encouraged the Zimbabwean community to assist their Malawian counterparts affected by the tragedy in the spirit of Ubuntu with financial and material aid to ease the impact of the floods on their lives.

This call seeks to highlight the inherent African spirit of empathy, humanity and friendly attitude by helping each other with whatever we can afford, minding that a friend in need is a friend indeed and a problem shared is half solved. Helping the next person is not about having much but having the heart to help. Whatever small contributions that Zimbabweans give towards supporting Malawians affected by floods will collectively make a big difference in the lives of those that lack,” he said.

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