By Lydia Maganga
Central Emergency Response Fund from the United Nations has approved US$3 million (approximately K2.4 billion) to help support victims of the Tropical Cyclone Ana to meet their basic needs.
UN Resident Coordinator, Rudolf Schwenk told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that money was approved on February 8, 2022 to help with the basic needs that the survivors may require and that there is more in the pipeline considering the damage that the cyclone has caused.
“I am happy to say that already the Central Emergency Response Fund from the United Nations has agreed yesterday to provide US$3 million to meet the basic needs of the affected households and there is more in the pipe line,” Schwenk said.
“But we also need to make a flash appeal so we can do fund raising, because additional resources are required for emergency situations of this magnitude,” he added.
Schwenk said that already the UN supported with shelter, food items, latrines, basic health services, acknowledging that there is still need for continued efforts to help those people especially in health and education.
He said it is was satisfying that basic help has arrived in so many affected areas. However, he appealed for more support considering that people lost everything to the floods.
Schwenk said the UN family is collectively working with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and other government agencies to finalize the response plan, expressing hope that the draft will be ready by Friday.
“We do hope to finalise the plan so that it can be sent to the Government of Malawi for approval and could then be presented to the international community to support the response, fund raising, resource mobilization as there is the need for additional funding,” he said.
Schwenk added that the floods caused damage to school structures and destroyed teaching materials, saying he was happy to learn that schools reopened two days ago and that the schools the UN visited in Nsanje were provided with some learning and playing materials.
“It was good to see children smiling and happy to be back in class,” he said.
He also acknowledged the damage to the health sector, saying that some health facilities they visited in Chikwawa had faced a lot of damages in essential drugs that need urgent replenishing.
“Cold chains for vaccines were destroyed and I was happy to hear that they managed to save the vaccines and they moved them to the district hospital when they noticed that the cold chain had broken down.
“It is important that recovery activities should take place so that they should be able to restore the basic services. Just yesterday they were able to vaccinate people so that is good seeing that things are slowly getting back to normal,” Schwenk added.
Schwenk, therefore, commended government through DoDMA for doing a great job, especially with the rescue teams and assisting the survivors with different basic needs.
So far, over 950,000 people have been affected and 47 people are reported dead due to Tropical Cyclone Ana which hit the country a few weeks ago.