Established more than 50 years ago, the Cigna Foundation carries out our corporate philanthropy goals of bringing Cigna's mission to life for individuals and communities around the globe. Cigna’s philanthropic giving program partners with charitable organizations working on innovative disease prevention and health promotion solutions designed to help eliminate barriers to health and improve access to care in communities where Cigna has a presence.
On March 15th, Tropical Cyclone Idai made its way across the coast of southern Africa making landfall in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, causing severe damage with its strong winds and severe flooding. There are three million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Half of them are children. 503 deaths had been reported; 293 in Mozambique, 154 in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi.
· In the days since the storm hit Mozambique, the latest figures indicate that more than 1.85 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including 1 million children. Additionally, at least 89,000 people are reported to be displaced.
· In Malawi, the floods have affected nearly 869,000 people, including 443,000 children. Thousands of families lack basic supplies including food, water and sanitation facilities, putting children at increased risk of malnutrition and disease. Additionally, over 3.3 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian support due to consecutive poor harvests.
· As the cyclone has moved westward, into Zimbabwe, the damage and destruction continued to mount. 250,000 people, including 120,000 children are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The water supply has suffered significant damage, with boreholes and water supply systems being damaged. There are also reports of large-scale damage to schools, including damages to more than 80 schools affecting over 57,000 students.
Cigna has relationships in the affected communities, and recognizing the scope of devastation and needs of people affected by this cyclone, the Cigna Foundation is responding by donating $50,000 to UNICEF for its relief efforts and will also match, dollar for dollar, donations to UNICEF USA by Cigna employees.
UNICEF is working to expand access to healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene, and education services. The children’s agency and its partners are also focusing on preventing a spike in malnutrition, identifying children who may have been orphaned or separated from their families, and getting children back to school.
Matching gift donations from the Cigna Foundation to UNICEF USA for their relief disaster efforts will run from April 16 - May 15, 2019.
On behalf of Cigna and the Cigna Foundation, thank you for your generous donation to UNICEF to help support the children and families of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
*Photo 1 – Marka, located on the Malawi-Mozambique border, has been submerged by the Cyclone Idai floodwaters.
*Photo 2 – Displaced children living in the Samora Machel School in Buzi, Mozambique, receive food donated by a supermarket chain.
*Photo 3 – Caelono, 15, holds pages from a schoolbook he rescued when the floodwaters receded near his home in Beira.
*Photo 4 – UNICEF health care facility in Beira. UNICEF is scaling up health care services to prevent a rise in malnutrition and help people protect themselves from communicable diseases.