The Unifor Social Justice Fund (SJF) is helping to provide life-saving aid as the humanitarian crisis caused by Cyclone Idai worsens.

On March 14, Cyclone Idai made landfall in central Mozambique then continued to wreak havoc as a tropical storm across land into Malawi and Zimbabwe. The death toll is expected to be in the thousands, while thousands remain missing.

With more than 2.5 million people affected, emergency aid organizations are battling a growing humanitarian crisis. Floodwaters have contaminated drinking water sources and the race to stop the spread of cholera, a deadly waterborne disease, is now underway.

The SJF has donated $40,000 to GlobalMedic to provide aid to victims of the cyclone in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

GlobalMedic, a Canadian charity founded by paramedics, has mobilized a Rapid Response Team to provide clean drinking water and Family Emergency Kits on the ground in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The Rapid Response Team is able to deploy and operate point source water purification units capable of providing up to 40 liters of clean drinking water per minute using a sediment, carbon and UV light filtration system.

The Family Emergency Kits are designed to help families address the critical issues faced in the wake of disaster. Each kit contains a point of use water purification solution and essential hygiene items to provide entire families with safe, clean drinking water and keep them clean and healthy, preventing the outbreak of further illness.

The cyclone also wiped out infrastructure and left key roads impassable, slowing delivery of much-needed aid.

GlobalMedic is also using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology to obtain vital information that allows rescue workers to deliver aid where it is needed most. The aerial images are shared with local authorities and rescue teams in order to access damage and increase the effectiveness of the response to save more lives.

To donate to GlobalMedic visit globalmedic.ca.

For more information on the Unifor Social Justice Fund visit unifor.org/sjf.