Philip Morris International (PMI) will provide the Swiss Red Cross with $400,000 to support the relief efforts in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai. In the aftermath of one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa, and the Southern Hemisphere as whole, 2 million people have been left affected, and thousands are in immediate need of emergency shelter, food, water, and medical assistance.
Beyond this, the funds will also support people’s livelihoods in the months ahead, as needs will increase for those who have lost their crops and property. “We are deeply saddened by the impact of Cyclone Idai,” said Nicolas Denis, Vice President Leaf at PMI. “The devastation is massive, and the local communities are going through a very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone affected. We are working with the Swiss Red Cross to contribute to the relief efforts and support the country as it rebuilds.”
PMI does not have any operations in Mozambique, but it sources a significant amount of tobacco from the country. Tobacco is an important crop there, representing a significant contribution to the economy. According to our farm monitoring data, the livelihoods of some 600,000 people—farmers, their families and tobacco workers—are dependent directly on tobacco.
PMI’s tobacco supplier in Mozambique provides contracted farmers with technical assistance for the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices and support to grow food crops such as maize, beans and groundnuts. In 2018, with PMI support, Mozambique’s tobacco farmers also produced more than 280,000 tons of food crops.
There are more than 100,000 smallholder farmers who grow tobacco locally. PMI is standing ready to support them and the wider community in this difficult time.