The musician João Gil, together with the Portuguese Red Cross, today launched the challenge to all Portuguese-speaking artists to participate in the “biggest concert in the world” and thus raise funds for Mozambique, a country affected by Cyclone Idai.
“We want to mobilize the Portuguese-speaking peoples. We want to mobilize the people of Brazil, the Angolan people, all the Angolan musicians,” João Gil announced at a press conference at the headquarters of the Portuguese Red Cross (CVP) in Lisbon.
The musician also said that he intends to mobilize Mozambique, Cape Verde, Timor-Leste, Sao Tome, and Principe and Guinea-Bissau.
“They can send their content (…) and, from April 18, we started an endless concert,” said the Portuguese musician.
The initiative, which has also been energized by Rui Veloso, aims to raise funds to help the victims of cyclone Idai in Mozambique, which already accounts for 242 deaths, and will work in a different way from other solidarity concerts held so far.
Instead of a television broadcast, the “Imbondeiro Operation – The Greatest Concert in the World” would be broadcast through the online portal of the Portuguese Red Cross, which could then be shared by the various radio stations and TV channels.
Once on the website of the Portuguese Red Cross, the stations can make the call and can broadcast the concerts “in an absolutely open way” and in their footer there will be an Altice line for the collection of funds directly to the CVP emergency fund, explained the president of the institution, Francisco George.
The initiative announced today is, according to João Gil, a more “democratic” alternative and allows the participation of all the interested artists, noting that previous models led to the limitation of the number of participants.
“When we did the concert of Pedrógão [Great], we did not give vent to all the artists who wanted to work, who wanted to collaborate, and this time there are no limits,” said João Gil, adding that this “may be the biggest concert in the world “.
The musician also referred to the “ghosts that are in the air about the distribution” of the values collected in previous concerts, but he assures that “there is a constant audit of the incoming funds”.
During the press conference, the Portuguese Red Cross announced that it has raised 394,000 euros and will use part of this amount to charter a plane to the Mozambican city of Beira that will transport 30 tons of humanitarian aid.
The number of confirmed deaths following Cyclone Idai rose to 242 in Mozambique and 259 in Zimbabwe.
The only known estimates in Malawi remain unchanged, in 56 deaths and 177 injured.
Mozambican head of state Filipe Nyusi issued a national emergency decree on Tuesday and said 350,000 people were “at risk.”
Mozambique is today fulfilling the second of three days of national mourning.
The International Red Cross has indicated that at least 400,000 people are displaced in Beira, considering that this is the “worst crisis” of the kind in Mozambique.
The Idai, with heavy rains and winds of up to 170 kilometers per hour, hit Beira (central Mozambique) on Thursday evening, leaving about 500,000 residents in the country’s fourth-largest city without power and communication lines.