United Nations’ Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs releases US$5.5 million as relief package for survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy

* Mozambican government has donated 40,000 litres of jet fuel that arrived at Chileka International Airport on Monday

* Most times, the cyclones hit both countries at the same time, which leaves the two allies affected—Mozambique Ambassador to Malawi

Ambassador Elias Zimba presents the fuel to Minister of Education, Madalitso Kambauwa Wilima

By Duncan Mlanjira

After appreciating the destruction and suffering that was brought about due to effects of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, the United Nations’ Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs had released US$5.5 million as relief package for survivors.


Resident Coordinator for Malawi, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh visited some flood-affected areas of the Southern Region and is quoted in a statement as saying: “The destruction and suffering that I witnessed in southern Malawi is the human face of the global climate crisis.

“The people I met with — many of whom have lost their homes and loved ones — have done nothing to cause this crisis. We, as the United Nations, stand in full solidarity with the people of Malawi at this tragic time and we call on the international community to do the same.”

The statement further says the assistance is from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) “as the devastating toll of floods and mudslides in the country’s Southern Region continues to rise”.

In its report on Sunday, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in the office of the President & Cabinet said the number of the displaced people was at 490,098 with 533 camps set to accommodate the displaced.

The death toll rose from 447 to 476; with 918 injuries and the number of reported missing persons was at 349 from 282.

“DoDMA also reported that the Malawi Defence Force (MDF), the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the United Kingdom search and rescue teams continue their operations.

The MDF — using two helicopters dispatched by the United Republic of Tanzania, is also arlifting relief items, medical supplies and personnel to places not accessible by road.

“The national interagency assessment team is on the ground supporting affected councils with assessments to establish the total number of affected people and their immediate needs.”

The UN also reports that some 75,000 hectares of cropland has been flooded, just as farmers were about to harvest the only crop of the year.

The figures are expected to rise in the days ahead as further information becomes available, especially in areas where people remain trapped by the flood waters and full information is not yet available.

“The Government of Malawi is leading the response, with support from humanitarian partners. More than 1,500 people have been rescued from isolated locations and, as flood waters begin to subside, assistance is being dispatched to the hardest-hit districts.

Adda-Dontoh is quoted as saying: “People are traumatized, and many have lost their homes, their belongings and their livelihoods. In support of the Government-led response, through this CERF grant, we will aim to assist those who have been hardest-hit with life-saving and life-sustaining assistance, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter and vital non-food items, food, healthcare and prevention of gender-based violence and child protection risks.”

Resident Coordinator for Malawi, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh

Southern Malawi was affected after Tropical Cyclone Freddy made its second landfall in Mozambique on March 11 and moved over land as a tropical depression, bringing torrential rainfall, devastating floods and mudslides to Malawi from March 12.

Malawi is also still facing its deadliest cholera outbreak in recent history, and there is a high risk that the disease could spread in flood-affected areas.

“The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is to coordinate the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises.

“We advocate for effective and principled humanitarian action by all, for all,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, the Mozambican government has donated 40,000 litres of jet fuel that arrived at Chileka International Airport on Monday, March 20.


A report on DoDMA Facebook page quotes Mozambique Ambassador to Malawi, His Excellency Elias Zimba as saying they are not helping their neighbour but themselves — adding that “most times, the cyclones hit both countries at the same time, which leaves the two allies affected”.

Zimba reported that when President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi heard how bad Malawi had been hit, he was moved to assist in whatever way he could, saying: “We too have been affected but the President still thought of assisting.”

The donation was received by Minister of Education, Madalitso Kambauwa Wilima who appreciated that while Mozambique is also grappling with Freddy effects, they still decided to do something commendable.

“The helicopters need fuel and we know this special donation will cushion the challenges we are facing, as a country following the devastation,” she is quoted as saying. “We pray that God should bless them abundantly and this goes to all countries that have extended a helping hand.”

DoDMA, while assuring the public that it will be regularly updating the general public on provision of assistance, usage and any related development, also reiterates that the affected people in clusters (sector working groups), require various relief items such as:

* Shelter (tarpaulin (4x6m), family tents/big tents; plastic sheet (120 micron), blankets, sleeping mats);

* Protection (clothes, lighting lamps, dignity kits);

* Heath (mosquito nets, mobile clinic services;

* Non-food items (plates, cups, pots);

* WASH (mobile toilets, water treatment chemicals, soap, buckets);

* Food & nutrition (maize/maize flour); corn soya blend, ready to use therapeutic food, cooking oil, pulses (beans, peas etc), soya pieces dry fish/kapenta, sugar, salt)