Treasury releases K4bn disaster response

Treasury has released K3 billion to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) and K1 billion to Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development as part of government response to floods that hit the country last month. 

This funding comes barely a month after the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development released another K1.3 billion to Dodma, bringing the total amount for disaster response from government to K5.3 billion.

The floods left many areas submerged

In an interview yesterday, Secretary to Treasury Cliff Chiunda said the K4 billion response was from unforeseen expenditure for disasters.

Dodma Secretary and Commissioner for Management Affairs Wilson Moleni in an interview confirmed receiving K3 billion last week.

He said: “Last week, they [Treasury] gave us K3 billion for the disaster response. But when you look at government’s contribution, it’s beyond this money because the maize we are distributing to the disaster victims is also from government.  As at last week, we were around over K10 billion in terms of what government has contributed.”

Moleni said Dodma still needs more support from well-wishers, adding it has a deficit of $24 million (about K17. 8 billion) out of the required $45 million (about K33.4 billion) to reach out to all people who were affected by disasters in the country’s 15 districts.

He said Dodma’s main focus is now to help people who were displaced by floods to move out of camps and return to their homes with a proper starter pack.

Said Moleni: “We still need a lot more support from donors and we have already shared with most of them a relocation concept that we have developed as government. To relocate flood victims is where we want to put more of the resources now.”

On his part, Agriculture Ministry Principal Secretary Gray Nyandule-Phiri said his ministry has already used the money to buy and distribute maize seeds and sweet potato vines to help some of the flood survivors with winter cropping. He said the distribution exercise was expected to be completed by Friday last week.

Phiri said his ministry is also looking for donor support as the K1 billion the ministry received from Treasury “was not enough” to assist all people who were affected by the floods.

President Peter Mutharika declared a State of National Disaster on March 8 following floods that affected 868 900 people and killed 60 people.

Since then Malawi’s development partners such as United Kingdom’s Development for International Development (DfID), the United States Government, the People’s Republic of China, and neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia have contributed in various ways towards the flood relief. n

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