Scottish faith leaders including the Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church; Church of Scotland Moderator, Right Reverend Susan Brown, and the Muslim Council of Scotland have urged Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths and none to support the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Cyclone Idai Appeal.
The cyclone has left a trail of destruction, killing hundreds of people and affecting an estimated 3 million people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Houses, bridges, health facilities and roads have been destroyed and much of the agricultural land submerged. More than 700 are confirmed dead and over 400,000 have lost their homes. With little clean water available, cholera cases are on the rise.
The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church said: “It is a fundamental Christian imperative to respond to humanitarian need in whatever way we can. Our support through prayer matters greatly but I also urge all members of the Scottish Episcopal Church to consider donating what they can to the DEC appeal to enable those who have suffered this appalling devastation start to rebuild lives and communities.”
The Church of Scotland Moderator Rt Rev Susan Brown said: “We can’t just stand by while others suffer. Scotland, and the Churches in Scotland, have long connections with this part of the world, and we share their pain and their grief. Let’s make sure we support them with our prayers and with our practical help.
“This is a disaster on a scale hardly known before. There are obvious immediate needs, but it is also going to take years for people to recover and I am sure that people of empathy and goodwill everywhere will want to reach out and give generously.
“Many churches have remembered this whole region in their prayers and, where we can, we need to put our hands in our pockets to show God’s love in action.”
The Muslim Council of Scotland said: “The full scale of the disaster caused by Cyclone Idai is still unfolding as search and rescue operations continue. Hundreds are dead and millions affected. Most of the affected areas are still submerged and heavy rain continues to fall. There is an urgent need for food, clean water, sanitation and health care. We urge everyone to give what they can to the appeal”
DEC member charities are working closely with national partners to support the rescue and relief effort, delivering clean water, emergency shelter materials and blankets, food such as pulses and maize flour, and urgent health assistance.
The Scottish public have so far donated £1.5 million to the appeal with the UK total is now standing at £18 million. The Scottish Government has also donated £100,000 to the DEC Appeal with the UK Government contributing £4 million in Match Aid Funding.
For more information or to make a donation to the DEC Cyclone Idai Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk