Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cyclone Freddy has affected over 500,000 people in Malawi: UN

United Nations, March 18 ( The aftermath of Cyclone Freddy in Malawi and Mozambique has resulted in devastating consequences, with over 500,000 people affected, and at least 326 fatalities. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that more than 180,000 people have lost their homes in Malawi alone, and floodwaters have left several areas cut off. Humanitarian partners have expressed concern about the spread of cholera in crowded displacement sites.

Search and Rescue Operations in Malawi

The Malawi government, along with international relief organizations, has been engaged in search and rescue operations, leading to the rescue of 442 people on Thursday alone. The government-led relief efforts have expanded as the floodwaters recede, with a focus on reaching displaced individuals.

Transport Challenges for Aid Workers

However, OCHA has highlighted the challenges that aid workers face due to the extreme conditions on the ground, particularly in locations that are inaccessible by road. As a result, aid workers are mobilizing air transport and boats to transport supplies and support search and rescue efforts.

Humanitarian Partners Concerned About the Spread of Cholera

Humanitarian partners in Malawi, particularly the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have raised concerns about the potential spread of cholera in flood-affected areas. UNICEF and its partners are working to clean latrines in schools serving as shelters in Blantyre and installing water storage bladders to provide safe drinking water.

Relief Efforts Underway in Chikwawa and Other Districts

In Chikwawa, one of the districts with the highest number of displaced people, the World Food Programme and its partners have distributed super cereal, a blend of corn and soy, to all displacement sites. Similar efforts are underway in other districts.

Cyclone Freddy : Floods and Cholera Continue to Ravage Mozambique

In neighboring Mozambique, the cumulative impact of floods and two landfalls of Cyclone Freddy has affected over 510,000 people. The number of people affected by Freddy’s second landfall continues to rise, reaching 340,000. OCHA has also reported that cholera is spreading in Mozambique, with a shortage of water disinfection supplies hindering containment efforts.

Humanitarian Response in Mozambique

The UN team has a presence in each of the cyclone-affected provinces in Mozambique, working closely with the authorities to provide aid to over 49,000 displaced people and access isolated areas. Humanitarian partners are finalizing a flash appeal, in addition to this year’s overall appeal, to address the most urgent needs resulting from the convergence of Freddy, floods, and cholera.

Urgent Need for More Funds

On Thursday, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund released $10 million to address some relief gaps. However, OCHA has emphasized that more funds are urgently needed to support the ongoing humanitarian response efforts in Malawi and Mozambique.

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