Cyclone Idai: Here's what we know so far

On Thursday, March 14, Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira City, Sofala Province, in central Mozambique. The cyclone brought torrential rains and winds to Sofala, Zambezia, Manica and Inhambane provinces.

After moving out of Mozambique, Cyclone Idai continued across land as a Tropical Storm and hit eastern Zimbabwe with heavy rains and strong winds. The storm brought high winds and heavy precipitation in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts causing flash flooding and subsequent deaths, destruction of livelihoods and properties.

While the full extent of the devastation will remain unknown for some time, here are the latest numbers from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) situation report:

  • There are more than 800 fatalities, according to official reports
  • 228,000 people being housed in temporary camps
  • 3 million people have been affected in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi

Umer Khan (blue vest), Lutheran World Relief's Senior Director for Emergency Operations, walks with local partner staff along areas affected by Cyclone Idai to survey damage.

We are responding

Lutheran World Relief, in partnership with IMA World Health, are responding to the devastation.


We will be responding to the devastation in Chipinge and Chimanimani in partnership with local organizations in Zimbabwe.

So far, we have committed $80,000 to an initial response that will focus on temporary shelter, essential household items, and community water filters. We will work to reach 300 households with immediate support. We are also working with local churches to set up programs to help families cope with the trauma of losing their homes and being displaced by the cyclone.

Additionally, we are working with partners World Help and Smile for Africa to distribute Baby Care Kits, School Kits and Personal Care Kits to families in Chipinge and Chimanimani.


We have sent more than 2,000 School Kits to Mozambique that will be distributed in partnership with Save the Children and Airlink in child-friendly spaces and temporary camps.

For the long term, we are exploring options to support the affected population with cash transfer and livelihood recovery programs, in collaboration with local organizations.

Lutheran World Relief staff and partners distribute Personal Care Kits to families affected by Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe.

Please help.

Your gift today will help us reach out to families affected by this historic disaster, and stay with them until they are on the road to recovering. Please give today. 


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