The United Nations in Malawi (UN) has released US$5.5 million (approximately MK5.5 billion) to the Malawi Government to enable the latter to respond to the needs of communities affected by floods that came with Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
The funding has been provided through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Speaking after visiting flood-affected areas on 16 March, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malawi, Ms. Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, stated that the destruction and suffering that I witnessed in southern Malawi is the human face of the global climate crisis.
“The people I met with—many of whom have lost their homes and loved ones—have done nothing to cause this crisis. We, as the United Nations, stand in full solidarity with the people of Malawi at this tragic time and we call on the international community to do the same,” Adda-Dontoh said.
Nearly 363, 000 people are displaced and sheltering in over 500 camps across flood-affected areas of Malawi, and the death toll has risen to 447, with at least 282 people still missing, according to authorities on 18 March.
Some 75, 000 hectares of cropland has been flooded, just as farmers were about to harvest the only crop of the year. These figures are expected to rise in the days ahead as further information becomes available, especially in areas where people remain trapped by the flood waters and full information is not yet available.
The Government of Malawi is leading the response, with support from humanitarian partners. More than 1,500 people have been rescued from isolated locations and, as flood waters begin to subside, assistance is being dispatched to the hardest-hit districts.
“People are traumatized, and many have lost their homes, their belongings and their livelihoods,” said Ms. Adda-Dontoh. “In support of the Government-led response, through this CERF grant, we will aim to assist those who have been hardest-hit with life-saving and life-sustaining assistance, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter and vital non-food items, food, healthcare and prevention of gender-based violence and child protection risks.”
Southern Malawi was affected after Tropical Cyclone Freddy made its second landfall in Mozambique on 11 March and moved over land as a tropical depression, bringing torrential rainfall, devastating floods and mudslides to Malawi from 12 March. Malawi is also still facing its deadliest cholera outbreak in recent history, and there is a high risk that the disease could spread in flood-affected areas.