The African Union (AU) has provided $100 000 (about K73 million) to Malawi Government for disaster recovery response with a call to member States to urgently support the country’s recovery efforts.
AU Rapporteur of Permanent Representation Sub-Committee (PRC) for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Lamine Baali made the call on Monday at Capital Hill in Lilongwe at the end of a four-day visit to Malawi to assess the impact of cyclone Idai.
He said the delegation sought to have first-hand information of the disaster and visited Mulanje and Nsanje districts where cyclone Idai affected hundreds of households who need food and non-food items.
Said Baali: “When we heard that Cyclone Idai affected some countries in Southern Africa such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, we announced the donation of $350 000 to support the three countries. So we have donated $100 000 to Malawi government today and then we will also be helping Mozambique with $150 000 and Zimbabwe with $100 000 as well.
“This is a gesture of solidarity and support from the African Union. We hope that member states will also assist and support in cash and kind in showing their solidarity to this disaster as member States of the African Union.”
He said the delegation also had a meeting with various stakeholders working on the disaster recovery efforts, including government and non-State actors.
AU Head of Mission in Uganda Rebecca Otengo Amuge, who was part of the delegation, said in the long-term Malawi needs to work on resilience strategies.
She said: “Malawi cannot recover alone. We call on the international community to support the recovery process.
“The affected people should be given fast-yielding farm inputs so they can plant and harvest in six months time to mitigate the impact of hunger caused by the disaster.
Amuge further pledged the AU’s continued support, saying: “The most challenging recovery will be on infrastructure reconstruction and partners should come in to assist. We know data is available from government on specific needs towards recovery. We applaud the Malawi government for quick assessment that helped to come up with the $45 million budget for emergency response and recovery.”
Deputy director for response and recovery at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs Dyce Nkhoma said the donation reduces the disaster response financial budget needs that is pegged at $45 million.
He said some citizens in areas affected by the disaster are yet to be adequately assisted because of lack of accessibility as the only means is by air transport which can only lift small quantities of food aid.
Since the disaster occurred early last month, several development partners, including the United Kingdom, United States, South Africa and Tanzania, have provided support to the Malawi Government to help victims recover from the disaster effects.