UN reaches over 400 000 with disaster response

United Nations (UN) agencies, Malawi Government, national and international agencies have reached over 400 000 persons affected by the impact of Cyclone Idai.

The flood survivors have received immediate life-saving relief support including food, medicine, shelter, protection services and other non-food-items such as water, sanitation and hygiene supplies.

Over 80 000 people were displaced by the floods

In early March, heavy rains and flooding killed 60, displaced nearly 87 000 and affected around 870 000 people.

President Peter Mutharika declared a State of Disaster on March 8 and subsequently launched a Flood Response Plan and Appeal on 28th March to support life-saving humanitarian interventions in 15 affected districts.

The flood response plan appeal has received $25.6 million funding contributions and pledges out of a total requirement of $45.2 million.

Based on lessons learnt from the 2015 flood response, early recovery efforts have been integrated in the response plan to reduce further risks and mitigate the impact of future shocks.

UN resident coordinator Maria Jose Torres said the UN and partners triggered their support to the response almost immediately after the floods hit, including using prepositioned relief supplies.

She said: “We assisted the government to rapidly assess the immediate needs to inform the humanitarian response.

“Beyond addressing the immediate needs, we are also supporting the Government to assess post-disaster recovery needs that will inform early to long term recovery interventions in the affected areas.”

Additional support to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) includes facilitating coordination and information management to enhance the response operations.

An emergency operations centre is established in the Ministry of Homeland Security to facilitate coordination of field operations.

A post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) has been undertaken by the Malawi Government, UN, World Bank and European Union to assess damages, losses and priority recovery needs and costs. The data and information collected will inform government’s flood recovery plan. n

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