In March 2023, Malawi was hard hit by Tropical Cyclone Freddy, reporting severe damage in Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Ntcheu, Phalombe, Thyolo and Zomba.

Due to the heavy rains and strong winds caused by the cyclone that has hit the country since 12 March, more than 659,278 people have been displaced, 679 people have died, 2. 186 injured and more than 537 are still missing (Government of Malawi data, April 2023).

The Ministry of Education has suspended – until 31 March 2023 – classes in primary and secondary schools in all affected districts: the devastating effects of the cyclone have also been disastrous for the education system, affecting schools and colleges. 

Some schools have been turned into camps for displaced communities. Many markets are still inaccessible and/or without sufficient food: the price of food is rising dramatically, almost 75 per cent more than in the month before the floods. In addition, the spread of cholera remains worrying: even before the Cyclone, the country was already hard hit by a cholera epidemic, and especially in the camps set up to accommodate families who have lost their homes, given their overcrowding, there are fears of a relapse.

The Marist Brothers of Malawi have, from the outset, mobilised to support the population and families in difficulty, and thanks to constant contact with the FMSI team, they have obtained funds to deal with this emergency. Thanks to the financial support of one of the main donors, the Marist Brothers of Malawi were able to purchase and distribute food, water and hygiene materials to the most vulnerable families, to alleviate, as much as possible, the difficulties that Malawi is experiencing at this difficult time. 

Thanks to the funds received, the Marist Brothers of Malawi will be able to support 1,452 people who have been hard hit by the cyclone.

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