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Map of Eastern and Southern Africa
A girl holds a baby under an umbrella © UNICEF/UN0292287/DE WET Aruminda Luis holds her brother, Antonio at a camp set up for displaced people at the Jehovas Witness Centre in Dondo, Mozambique.

Cyclone Idai response

(Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi)

Cyclone Idai response:

     Children to be reached in the three countries
     1.6 million
     People provided with access to safe water
   US$122 million
     Funding requirements for the response


Cyclone Idai reponse – at a glance

Cyclone Idai post-impact situation [PDF]


Children make up half of those affected by Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe

Snapshot [1]

Total affected population: 3 million
Total affected children (under 18): 1.5 million

Total population to be reached: 1.6 million
Total children to be reached: 854,000

Cyclone Idai made landfall on 14-15 March causing widespread destruction in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The worst natural disaster to hit southern Africa in nearly two decades, it has left more than 3 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, with children being over half of those directly affected. The current death toll now stands at over 700, however this is likely to increase in the coming days as water
recedes and access to the most vulnerable

2019 programme targets [2]


  • 1.6 million people provided with access to safe water
  • 467,000 people provided with access to sanitation


  • 525,000 children vaccinated, including against cholera measles

Child protection

  • 80,000 children receiving psychosocial support and support to unaccompanied and separated children


  • 390,000 children admitted for SAM treatment


  • 506,000 children provided with access to quality education

Social protection

  • 265,000 provided cash-based assistance

Thousands of families forced out of their flooded homes, now lack basic supplies including food and water, and are without access to medical care and sanitation facilities. The floods have also disrupted learning for thousands of children, with many families camping out in schools, churches, and public buildings. Women and children, waiting to be rescued or crammed into temporary shelters are at heightened risk of violence and abuse, while children orphaned by the cyclone or separated from their parents are in urgent need of support. Mozambique is the country most affected, with 1.85 million people in dire need of assistance including 1 million children. In Malawi, close to 870,000 people, including 440,000 children, are reported to have been affected in 15 districts and some 86,976 people have been displaced. In Zimbabwe, more than 270,000 people are estimated to be affected, including 130,000 children. In all three countries, the floods have damaged crops just before harvest season, and cholera remains of serious concern, with confirmed cases in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Working with partners, UNICEF’s response is focused on scaling up life-saving interventions to 1.6 million people, including 854,000 children in the affected areas, especially cholera prevention and treatment, and the re-establishment of primary healthcare services to prevent outbreaks of communicable diseases, such as measles, and malnutrition. Flooding has also led to significant numbers of children being separated from their families, and tracing is an urgent priority.

965,000 (500,000)
Target population (children)

US$102.6 million
UNICEF requirements

Appeal for Mozambique

Situation reports


1.5 million (696,000)
Target population (children)

US$18.4 million
UNICEF requirements

Appeal for Zimbabwe

Situation reports


1.2 million (700,000)
Target population (children)

US$15.3 million
UNICEF total requirements

Appeal for Malawi

Situation reports




1 The affected population and children figures are the sum of the estimated populations in need of humanitarian assistance in the three countries for 2019.
2 Programme targets and total population and children to be reached are aggregates across Malawi, the Republic of Mozambique and Zimbabwe.