Development Partners mobilise US$9.2 million through UN to speed up Response to Malawi floods

One of the displacement sites in the southern region. UNICEF Photo.

PRESS RELEASE: (Lilongwe, 12 February 2015) – The United Nations has mobilised US$6,929,350 from its Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support implementation of the humanitarian response and lifesaving activities in the three hardest hit of the 15 districts affected by flooding in Malawi.

The CERF funding will support 270,281 flood-affected persons in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Phalombe districts in addressing a range of immediate humanitarian needs including food security, shelter, education, agriculture, logistics, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Torrential rains and flash floods have displaced 230 000 people in 15 of Malawi’s 28 districts, causing 104 deaths and injuring 645 people, with an additional 172 people still missing.

UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Mia Seppo said, “Apart from supporting provision of food to the displaced people, the CERF funding will support re-planting, where feasible, this harvest season to ensure families who have lost everything including their crop 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.”

The CERF funding will be channelled through World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who are working with several humanitarian partners on the ground.

The following are some of the specific CERF funding objectives in the three worst affected districts: 

  • Emergency Food Assistance: To provide life-saving food assistance to 270,281 flood victims for three months in the three districts. 
  • Education: To restore temporary safe learning spaces and continued provision of quality education and psychosocial support for children and schools affected by flooding, through continued quality teaching and learning and psychosocial support to 27,838 learners in 87 schools in the three districts. 
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): To prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases by ensuring that affected populations have protected and reliable access to sufficient safe water,  sanitation and hygiene facilities. 
  • Agricultural production: To restore food production capacity of the most-affected farming households through livestock distribution and agricultural input for replanting by taking advantage of the remaining period of the rainy season as well as residual moisture. 
  • Logistics: To provide aviation services and logistical support to ensure relief supplies reach areas made inaccessible by the floods. 

Other Resource Mobilisation Initiatives

The UN and its partners have a Humanitarian Window under the One Fund to ensure fast release of resources for initial response activities. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Flanders International Cooperation Agency (FICA) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Malawi are the donors to the Humanitarian Window. Through the Humanitarian Window; US$631,000 has been made available for provision of health services, US$600,000 for protection services, US$450,000 for nutrition response, US$200,000 for strengthening coordination and US$400,000 for putting in place a displacement tracking mechanism to enhance monitoring of protection needs and identification of response requirements.

With funding from the CERF (US$6,929,350) and from the Humanitarian Window (US$2,281,000) totalling  US$9,210,350, all government led clusters working with the UN and partners, have some funding to undertake immediate emergency response activities.

As part of a continued resource mobilisation strategy of the Government of Malawi and the UN Country Team, briefings to United Nations Member States in Geneva and New York took place on 29th January and 4th February 2015, respectively. Donors welcomed the information provided on the current humanitarian response. The briefing to member states advocated for special attention to recovery activities aimed at enhancing the resilience of affected communities.

Background

The UN launched its humanitarian response to Malawi floods almost immediately after the floods started in the affected districts. Thanks to the reprogramming and retargeting of funding from the UK, US, Germany, Ireland, Norway and EU, the UN has so far been able to support provision of food, shelter and other basic amenities to thousands of flood victims. The UN has also supported government to develop a preliminary response plan.

Teams from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), who are giving technical support to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), are still providing assistance in gathering information on the ground and carrying out impact assessments.

For further information, contact:

UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO) Communications Officer Mr. Phillip Pemba on phillip.pemba@one.un.org, Phone: +265(0)1773500.

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