UK provides £1 million support to Cyclone Freddy survivors
The United Kingdom (UK) has provided £1 million (about K1.3 billion) to support the Government of Malawi’s response to Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which has claimed over 447 lives.
Speaking at Kamuzu International Airport on Saturday night, when she welcomed UK International Search and Rescue (Isar) personnel, acting British High Commissioner to Malawi Sophia Willitts-King said the assistance is in addition to the immediate support the UK provided to the Malawi Government at the Emergency Operations Centre in Blantyre when the cyclone hit.
“The UK is saddened by the tragic loss of life caused by Cyclone Freddy due to the extreme rainfall and unprecedented flooding in Southern Malawi. We stand side by side with Malawi in responding to this crisis,” Willitts-King said.
She said the money will include food assistance, staff and vehicles to help Malawi Government and the United Nations launch emergency operations.
Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has since welcomed the assistance, describing it as timely.
“We are happy that UK Emergency Medical Team (EMT) will support hospitals in Malawi to treat the survivors of Cyclone Freddy.
“They will also join with an existing cholera-focused UK EMT to help reduce the risk of the on-going cholera outbreak getting worse following the floods,” Kandodo Chiponda said.
Deputy Team Leader for the UK rescue team Darren Cleaves said the UK Isar team will be supporting Malawian counterparts with lightweight and nimble boats and a drone team to help in the search for survivors of the floods.
“These boats will be gifted to the Malawi Government for future emergency use when the UK Isar team departs,” Cleaves said.
Meanwhile, Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Vincent Nundwe has said emergency assistance from Zambia, Tanzania and the UK will help speed up the process of rescuing people that are still trapped in hard-to-reach areas in the Southern Region.
Nundwe said the MDF has been lacking emergency response materials that have been provided.