UN Appeals for Urgent Aid for Malawi Victims of Tropical Storm Ana

The United Nations and other humanitarian organizations in Malawi have launched a flash appeal for $29.4 million to provide assistance for the next three months to those hit hardest by Tropical Storm Ana in Malawi. The U.N. team in Malawi said Friday the appeal focuses on the six hardest-hit districts where an estimated 680,000 people need humanitarian assistance and protection.

Tropical Storm Ana, which also hit Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, moved through many districts in southern Malawi in late January, leaving thousands homeless.

Forty-four organizations are making the appeal, including the Malawi Red Cross, seven national NGOs, 26 international NGOs and 10 U.N. agencies.

Shigeki Komatsubara is U.N. resident coordinator in Malawi.

“U.N. country team in Malawi, we have worked really hard to ensure this appeal is prioritized and principled and we are confident that the activities planned are those that are most urgently needed to deliver immediate relief to people who need it most,” Komatsubara said.

Government figures show that over 990,000 people were affected in 17 of the country’s 28 districts. 

The U.N team says the flash appeal focuses on the six hardest-hit districts —Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, Mulanje, Chiradzulu and Balaka, where an estimated 680,000 people need humanitarian assistance and protection.

“While we are cautious that humanitarian support is not a long-term solution to the current climatic shocks that continue to increase in frequency and intensity in Malawi, we are faced with an urgent need to act swiftly to save lives and also the livelihoods of those whose homes and crops have been [affected] by the tropical storm Ana,” Komatsubara said.

Several U.N. agencies and organizations including UNICEF, U.N. Women, the U.N. Refugee Agency and the World Food Program already have been helping the affected, especially those in evacuation camps.

Isaac Falakeza is a camp coordinator at Bangula Evacuation Camp in Nsanje district. The camp houses 8,000 displaced Malawian households and 2,500 households from Mozambique. 

“Yes, we need further support because the major area of concern is water. It is wanted. Secondly, food is really wanted and some of the utensils. Some are even waiting until a friend cooks is when they borrow a utensil for cooking,” Falakeza said.

Flood victim, Jakina Lameck, agrees. She says they also need blankets, cooking materials, food, even money which they can use to buy what they cannot find in the camp. In the meantime, the U.N. team says it appreciates help the international community has already shown in response to Tropical Storm Ana.

This includes the $3 million the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund recently allocated for humanitarian activities in Malawi.

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