The South African Government continues to help and respond to the urgent needs of its neighbouring countries following the humanitarian disaster left by Cyclone Idai.

On Tuesday, members of the South African National Defence Force departed from the Waterkloof Air Force Base to Malawi with various relief items donated by companies, religious organisations and ordinary South Africans.

The items included clothes, blankets, water purifiers and dry food. Also included in the consignment was medical supplies donated by the Department of Health.

“We remain indebted to all South Africans who have heeded the call for urgent relief donations. You have demonstrated the true spirit of Ubuntu. A large number of communities have been affected by this and continued assistance will be required for a while,” International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said.

Receiving the donations, the Malawi’s Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs Nicholas Dausi said: “We thank the people and government of South Africa for coming to assist in our time of need. These supplies came at the right time and will go a long way in assisting our people”.

Sisulu appealed to South Africans to continue donating towards this just cause.

The devastating tropical Cyclone Idai has affected an estimated 3 million people in three of the Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region; Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The three states have declared national disasters and requested immediate international support.

In light of this situation, the SADC Chairperson President Geingob of Namibia will launch a regional appeal for humanitarian assistance.

The regional appeal, will be a formal regional request to the international community to provide assistance to affected member states who require immediate humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, clothing, potable water, sanitation and medical support, considering the occurrence for cholera and other diarrhoea infections, malaria and water borne and water related diseases.

The support, SADC said – will also aid in early recovery actions in the affected districts, thereby helping them to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and economies.

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