Displaced families arrive after being rescued by boat from a flooded area of Buzi district, 200 kilometers (120 miles) outside Beira, Mozambique. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

Johannesburg - British Airways will from Monday give all money collected through its Flying Start charity to support those affected by the devastating Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. 

Since it made landfall on 15 March, Cyclone Idai has affected 2.6 million people and left hundreds of thousands without shelter. The United Nations predicts that this may become one of the worst weather-related disasters on record in the southern hemisphere. 

British Airways said that for the next two weeks, all onboard envelope collections will go the Disasters Emergency Committee's (DEC) relief efforts in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The DEC is a unique alliance of the UK's leading aid agencies and broadcasters which aims to maximize fundraising and quickly deliver effective emergency relief during major disasters. 

The immediate and primary focus of the relief effort is to save lives, but the effect of this disaster will be felt for many months to come. 

Across the three countries, shelter, water and sanitation, food, health assistance and protection are urgently needed, and support will be required to help children continue in their education, rebuild livelihoods and strengthen community resilience to withstand future disasters. 

Flying Start is the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief with which the airline aims to help give children in the communities it flies to the chance to have a brighter future.

Holly Gray, British Airways' community investment manager said they were using the breadth of their network and the generosity of their customers, to support the destitute people in delivering a rapid response in times of crisis. 

"The funds we raise will help bring urgent and lifesaving aid to those affected through the delivery of emergency shelter kits, essential foods items, water purification tablets and urgent health assistance, for the communities who have been devastated by cyclone Idai," Gray said.

British Airways said just £30 could provide blankets to keep two families warm, £50 could provide a family with food for one month and £100 could help build toilet and washing facilities for families who have lost their homes. 

African News Agency (ANA)