When an emergency strikes, Islamic Relief aims to be the first on the ground, swiftly assessing the situation and providing immediate relief and ongoing support to those affected.
Our presence in over 40 countries is saving the lives of millions of people all across the globe. From war-torn regions like Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Gaza, to drought-stricken countries in East Africa, and flash-flooded countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sudan, we are on the ground, providing families with life-saving food, water, shelter, medical care and psychosocial support, and helping to rebuild communities.
🔴 Unprecedented Cyclone Freddy devastates Malawi and Mozambique.
Cyclone Freddy, an unprecedented and devastating storm, has wreaked havoc in Malawi and Mozambique, claiming the lives of at least 200 people and leaving hundreds more injured or missing. The Department of Disaster Management Affairs in Malawi expects the death toll to rise in the coming days as the cyclone intensifies, with overwhelmed rescue workers searching for survivors in severe conditions. The torrential rains have caused floods and mudslides and affected over 60,000 people, washing away homes and leaving at least 22,000 homeless and vulnerable.
Cyclone Freddy has made history by displaying an extraordinary capacity to intensify and strengthen even after undergoing periods of weakening, surpassing any other cyclone on record. The catastrophic storm has led to intense flooding, caused extensive damage to agriculture, homes, and essential infrastructure, and will have far-reaching consequences for the affected communities. This disaster has caused immense suffering and loss and requires urgent action to aid and support those impacted by this tragedy. The true extent of the disaster remains uncertain, as many areas are currently inaccessible due to floods, power outages, and disrupted communication networks.
Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera, declared a state of disaster in the affected areas. The already dire situation could worsen with the looming threat of disease and the potential resurgence of cholera, especially since Malawi recently experienced the largest outbreak of this disease in its history, adding to the overwhelming challenges. We act decisively to ensure that affected communities are relieved during their time of need. Donate today and make a difference.
Islamic Reliefs Response
Islamic Relief has been working in Malawi since 2006, tackling food insecurity, increasing resilience to natural disasters, and supporting local communities to build secure and sustainable livelihoods. Our teams in Malawi have assessed some of the affected areas and proposed an immediate response plan that includes the provision of essential items such as temporary shelters, food, water, NFI kits containing blankets, kitchen utensils, hygiene kits, as well as unconditional cash transfer vouchers to help those affected by the disaster.
The affected communities will require long-term support to recover from this disaster. Islamic Relief Malawi is looking ahead and will assist with rehabilitation and recovery support to restore dignity in affected regions. This will be critical in helping the affected communities rebuild their homes and livelihoods and regain their independence and self-reliance. Islamic Relief will scale up its response in the coming days and require the immediate assistance of our donor community to support families and communities affected by Cyclone Freddy.
🔴 Massive fire at Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh devastates thousands
On Sunday, March 5, 2023, a massive fire broke out at refugee camp 11, where Rohingya refugees sought shelter, resulting in significant devastation in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. For over three hours, flames raged, destroying healthcare facilities, educational facilities, water and sanitation infrastructure, places of worship, and approximately 2,805 shelters, displacing over 16,000 people. Fires are a frequent problem in refugee camps where people live in over-crowded conditions in fragile bamboo and tarpaulin shelters – lacking proper firefighting equipment and safety points. This disaster has exacerbated the ongoing suffering of Rohingya refugees and given insight into the already cramped, dangerous, and dire living conditions in the camps.
Last month, the UN cut food rations for Rohingya refugees by 17% due to declining international donations. Rohingya refugees have been forgotten and abandoned since the brutal military crackdown in Myanmar more than five years ago. The situation in the camps should serve as a call to action to bring the world’s attention back to the Rohingya crisis. We must act now to prevent further fires, including rebuilding the camps more safely, providing firefighting equipment and safety points, establishing a fire evacuation plan, training volunteers, and implementing a monitoring system. The focus now is on providing emergency aid and shelter packages to those affected by the fire, with long-term solutions required to address the underlying issues and prevent future fires.
The current need
The first response is to clear the area of debris and restore water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. We will also set up makeshift distribution points for food and non-food items, establish a temporary structure for medical services, and deploy water bladders for drinking water. Additionally, there is a significant need for emergency shelter kits, non-food item kits, dignity kits, and hot meals. All affected people and families require urgent food assistance.
Islamic Relief Response
Islamic Relief teams are on the ground, participating in joint assessments with the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) and other agencies, mobilizing aid to help people begin rebuilding their homes, water, and sanitation facilities. More than 1,000 affected households in Camp 11 received emergency shelter packs as part of a coordinated response. Mobile medical teams were dispatched to the affected areas, catering to the needs of those affected by this disaster. The reconstruction of schools, in collaboration with other humanitarian organizations, will begin soon. We will also be offering psychosocial support to students in need. As the full impact of the extent of the disaster unfolds, we will require the urgent assistance of our local donor community to meet the immediate and longer-term needs.
🔴 BREAKING NEWS: TURKEY/SYRIA
7.9 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, causing destruction and loss of life. At least 230 have been killed and 600 injured as buildings collapsed. Our thoughts are with those affected.
Islamic Relief teams are on the ground assessing the needs and preparing to respond.
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On Wednesday, December 21, 2022, monsoon-triggered floods swamped north Malaysia, forcing tens of thousands to be evacuated. Emergency service officials said five people have died, a number expected to rise in the coming days. Torrential rains forced rivers to break their banks and overflow, with the water level reaching almost three metres and forcing families to flee their homes in search of safety.
At least 72,000 people have been evacuated as meteorologists forecast heavy rainfall and flooding to persist. Authorities have urged residents to evacuate their homes if possible and set up hundreds of relief shelters as displaced people grow.
Islamic Relief Malaysia has deployed its emergency response team and is partnering with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) in assessing the situation and providing essentials to those in need. Our team are in preparation and has begun distributing relief in the affected areas on the East Coast of Malaysia.
In Indonesia, a shallow earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale at a depth of 10km struck the main island of Java, affecting the Cianjur, Bogor, Bandung, Sukabumi, Bogor and Jakarta districts. The earthquake has been followed by around 140 shocks. Current estimates place the death toll at over 268 people, including many children, with more than 1,000 people wounded, and 58,000 people evacuated from their homes.
Islamic Relief in Indonesia immediately deployed its emergency response team and partnered with the country’s Disaster Management Agency to distribute tarpaulin, hygiene kits and other essential items. Following a needs assessment, we are scaling up our emergency relief and support in the country. Islamic Relief will invest more than R10 million over the next two months, as part of our early recovery interventions, which will include the provision of temporary shelter, schools, water and sanitation, and the restoration of livelihoods.
Pakistan was hit with flash flooding which began in late August 2022, impacting the lives of 33 million people – including 16 million children – translating to roughly 1 in 7 people in the country. Hundreds of thousands of homes, roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed; 4.4 million acres of crops have been ruined; and over 1,600 lives have been lost.
By October 2022, Islamic Relief had provided temporary shelter, food and clean water, sanitation, cash grants, and much more, to well over half a million people. We are now preparing to help rebuild the country by repairing infrastructure, revitalising agriculture, and ensuring the provision of psychosocial support, among many other initiatives.
In Gaza, tension between Palestinians and Israelis has escalated into the worst violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2014. The latest escalation in conflict has so far killed over 200 Palestinians, including scores of women and children. Airstrikes have forced terrified and traumatised families to flee their homes. However, Israeli blockades prevent them from leaving the enclave, so these displaced people are living with relatives, or in schools, unable to reach places of safety. The airstrikes have broken many international laws and confirmed Gaza as the largest open-air prison in the world.
Islamic Relief has a team of 60 staff on the ground in Gaza. Our colleagues live and work in the communities we serve, and they too have been affected by the violence. Some have had bombs destroy their homes and injure their loved ones. We are assisting the injured and are focused on helping to rebuild Gaza by repairing schools, medical centres, homes and other vital infrastructure.
In Bangladesh, heavy monsoon rains have led to rivers bursting their banks, cutting off millions of people. Many families are stranded and have either run out of food or are at risk of running out of food very soon. Communities in low-lying areas of Sylhet and Sunamganj have been deluged. Homes and schools, as well as vital infrastructure such as power supply lines, water sources and roads are all damaged or underwater.
Islamic Relief has been working in the flood-prone country for over 30 years and is responding to this latest disaster by distributing life-saving aid. In addition to hiring boats to reach stranded people, we are distributing food, water purification and hygiene items, and cash grants for affected farmers to buy seeds, tools and fodder. Islamic Relief will also be working closely with the ward disaster management committees set up through our extensive disaster-preparedness programming in Bangladesh.
In Afghanistan, conflict intensified in 2021, with the withdrawal of international forces and major shifts in power – all of which have led to a dire economic and humanitarian crisis. Already suffering the worst drought in decades, the country has also recently been struck by a devastating earthquake which took many lives. Survivors face hugely challenging conditions without adequate food, water, or shelter. More than half of the population – 24 million people – need urgent humanitarian aid. Islamic Relief has been working in the region since 1999, delivering vital humanitarian aid, including food, water, medical aid and shelter, as well as life-changing development assistance.
In East Africa, nearly 20 million people in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are in the midst of an ongoing drought – the extent of which has not been seen in at least 40 years. Millions of people are waking each day to food insecurity, while over a million livestock have died due to the severity of this climate crisis. People are fleeing their homes and villages in search of food, water and safety. With the situation worsening each day, the need for assistance is urgently rising. Islamic Relief is working on the ground in these drought-stricken countries, assessing the unfolding situation and providing much-needed relief, such as food, water, healthcare and shelter to more than 150,000 families. Millions more are in dire need of our help and we will continue to provide as much assistance as we are able to.
In Sudan, flash floods caused by heavy rains have affected an estimated 136,000 people – a number expected to rise to over 400,000 by the end of the rainy season. Vital infrastructure, including homes, healthcare facilities, and water and sanitation infrastructure have been damaged or washed away. Islamic Relief is monitoring the ongoing crisis and providing medical support, food, water and shelter to affected people.
Our Global Emergencies Fund ensures that we can respond to disasters as swiftly as possible, assist with recovery and help to rebuild the lives of those affected.
At Islamic Relief, we not only aim to save lives, but are committed to helping communities restore their livelihoods and dignity. We also work to educate and empower communities, so that they can be better prepared when disasters strike.
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