The United Nations has provided $9.2 million (about K4.2 billion) for food, education and sanitation in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Phalombe which have been hardest hit by the floods that have left thousands of Malawians destitute.
The funding will go towards meeting the joint UN and Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) budget of K38 billion (about $81 million) but Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has allocated a further K1 billion in the 2014/15 Mid-year Budget towards the relief response.
Since January, floods have displaced 230 000 people in 15 districts, causing 104 deaths while 172 people are reported missing.
The funds have come from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of the UN headquarters and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) while Flanders International Cooperation Agency (Fica) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Malawi have contributed $2 281 000 (about K1 billion) to the local UN’s Humanitarian Window.
A statement from the UN coordinator released yesterday indicates that the funding will support 270 281 people in the three districts addressing food security, shelter, education, agriculture, logistics, water and sanitation and hygiene.
UN resident coordinator Mia Seppo said apart from supporting provision of food to the displaced people, the CERF funding will support re-planting crops to ensure families who have lost everything including their crops are not food insecure until the next harvest in 2016.
“The funding comes at a critical time. We are working hard with a range of partners to scale up our support to the government-led response to save lives and bring food, medicine and other vital supplies to flood-affected areas,” Seppo said.
With the CERF funding, about 270 281 people will receive food assistance for three months, 27 838 learners in 87 schools will go back to class and there will be provision of potable water to prevent waterborne diseases.
The funds will also be used to airlift and transport the humanitarian assistance to the affected areas in the three districts.