Tuesday, 9 February 2021
While the world continues to tackle the impacts of the global pandemic, many countries are also facing another battle in their most vulnerable communities – hunger. SIM Australia identified communities in Malawi and Zimbabwe that are in vital need of assistance due to food insecurity heightened by the pandemic.
In these communities where SIM has been working for many years, the lockdown restrictions meant that many farmers were unable to sell whatever little produce they might have. This left them with limited income to buy agricultural supplies and grow new crops. These communities have suffered several years of dry spells, Cyclone Idai in March 2019 and now COVID-19.
As part of our 2020 Christmas Appeal, SIMaid raised vital funds to distribute emergency aid in vulnerable communities in Malawi and Zimbabwe through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
The Emergency Fund raised funds to support the distribution of emergency relief packages to vulnerable people who have food as their most basic need. In this region, December-February is known as the hunger months as this is the time of year between planting and harvesting when food supplies have depleted. This season was worsened due to the food insecurity brought on by COVID-19. These vital emergency relief packages contained food and hygiene essentials to support a family of five for a month.
Praise God that over the Christmas season, $74,600 was donated to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund! We thank God for our generous supporters who helped ease the suffering of 1,492 families who were facing months of hunger due to food insecurity heightened by the pandemic.
Below, you can read about how Samuel* and his family were impacted by the emergency relief package.
In Malawi, a 75-year-old man named Samuel* was struggling to provide food for his family. Samuel is blind and it is difficult for him to care for his five sons and three daughters due to his condition. Samuel is often deemed not eligible to participate in income-generating activities, which makes it hard for him to buy basic necessities for his family.
Thanks to the SIMaid relief activities in his community, Samuel received an emergency food pack. The food pack contained 50kg of maize, 5kgs of red beans, 2L of cooking oil and 1 packet of salt. These vital supplies helped to improve the situation for Samuel's family in the face of worsening food insecurity due to the impact of COVID-19. He used the maize to produce flour for cooking nsima and porridge.
Every morning since receiving the food pack, Samuel was able to have porridge with his family, which gave him the energy to do land preparation activities. He said he utilised this opportunity of having food readily available to prepare his land for the planting of new crops for the next rainy season. He saw the provision of the food pack as favour from the Lord.
Pray for the SIM Malawi team as they prepare to organise another food distribution at the end of this month. Pray for wisdom as this next distribution needs to be done under stricter COVID-19 restrictions.
*Name changed to protect identity
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