By Richard Chirombo:
The United Kingdom (UK) has become the latest country to offer support to floods-devastated areas in Malawi, after it announced that it is providing £3.4 million [about K3.6 billion].
It says in a statement that UKaid, provided by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), will provide emergency shelter, food, clean water and sanitation facilities and health support.
“DFID support responding to this crisis is in addition to existing large-scale resilience-building programming which is providing cash transfers so that 140,000 people can feed themselves until the end of March.
“The UK is channelling support through the World Food Programme, Unicef [United Nations Children’s Fund] and the Red Cross, targeting the most affected areas of Phalombe, Nsanje and Chikwawa,” the statement reads.
The aid package will see 65,000 people being provided with emergency shelter, and support camps hosting people displaced from their homes; 150,000 people being supported with immediate food assistance for two months; 250,000 people being provided with water, sanitation and hygiene support, and; 130,000 people getting access to health services.
DFID is the biggest donor to the Start Fund, which has allocated over £400,000 [about K392 million] to enable an NGO consortium headed by Trocaire and HelpAge International meet immediate needs, such as clean water and shelter, of affected people in the country.
Cyclone Idai has devastated parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, with the death toll rising to 417 in Mozambique, 259 in neighbouring Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi.
While Al Jazeera reports that four cases of typhoid were reported on Saturday in the small provincial district of Dombe, some 280 kilometres west of Beira in Mozambique, there are no such cases in Malawi as government agencies and development partners are on the ground in affected areas.
Food distribution and shelter have been reinforced in Dombe, with such organisations as Mozambique’s relief agency INGC and UK Aid Direct coming to the rescue.