Hacking Hunger – Episode 34: Witnessing an Apocalypse

Published June 19, 2019

On March 14, 2019, Cyclone Idai slammed into central Mozambique near the city of Beira. Idai’s torrential winds and rains destroyed everything in its path and left millions of people without the food, shelter and water they needed to survive.

“We don’t have anything to eat, nothing,” we hear one survivor say. “Just the clothes on our back.”

In this episode of Hacking Hunger, we spoke with Deborah Nguyen, a communications officer with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) who was one of the first responders to this “apocalyptic” scene. She says it was like arriving in a black hole, but that she was amazed by people’s will to survive.

“I was very touched, in particular, by the women I met in Mozambique. Among them there was an 18 year old mother. She had a one year old child and she built a shelter on her own – that’s where she was sleeping at night. Her little house had been completely destroyed. I was really impressed how strong she was, and she wasn’t complaining. She just said, ‘I need some help.'”

Listen above for Deborah’s story of aid in the face of absolute devastation.