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Disaster response deficit at K18.9 billion

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By Feston Malekezo:

Malawi’s disaster response deficit to households which were affected by rains in some Southern and Eastern Region districts of the country has narrowed down to about K18.9 billion ($25.6 million).

This is in a report jointly published by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) and the United Nations (UN) Office of the Resident Coordinator in Malawi, in collaboration with humanitarian and development partners.

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The report, published on April 7, covers the period from March 23 to April 7 2019, and the next report is expected on or around April 20 2019.

According to the report, the country’s total requirement is K33. 4 billion ($45.2 million) out of which K14.5 billion ($19.6 million) has been raised through contributions and pledges.

“A Flood Response Plan targeting all activated clusters was launched by the government and its partners on March 28 2019. Total requirements are $45.2 million. Contributions and pledges amount to $19.6 million, leaving a gap of $25.6 million,” reads the report in part.

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The report says an application to the Central Emergency Response Fund of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has been submitted to complement the on-going response efforts that require $3.2 million in support.

A total of 12 UN agencies and 90 partners have assisted approximately 90,000 people with food, water, health, nutrition, shelter and protection.

The flooding waters have generally receded but, according to the report, approximately 70 percent of the affected people are still in camps.

“This is mainly because houses collapsed completely or were weakened and therefore remain a potential threat. As the response in ongoing to fill the critical gaps in food and shelter, mosquito nets and reproductive kits, the government and partners are discussing early recovery options and packages [including seeds] for those households returning to their homes. All areas are now accessible, albeit some isolated pockets remain hard to reach,” the report further reads.

Dodma estimates that these areas host approximately 5 percent of the population that is yet to receive assistance.

Such areas include Chingale in Zomba District, where food security and logistics clusters are working with Dodma to reach these areas.

At least 868,895 were affected by disasters throughout the country and over 80,000 people were displaced.

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