Irish Ambassador Gerry Cunningham has expressed joy that the K615 million (750 000 euro) the Irish Government has provided is giving relief to people affected by recent devastating floods.
He was speaking when he visited some areas in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Zomba, hit by floods caused by cyclone Idai that whipped parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Said Cunningham: “I am delighted that through our NGO (Non-governmental organisation) partners, all of whom are working closely with district officials, our funds have provided immediate relief to many of the affected families, while the cash transfers and planting materials will support them to take advantage wherever possible of the short opportunity available through winter cropping”.
In the assistance, Ireland has provided K287 million to Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide and Trocaire to provide shelter, water and sanitation and cash transfers.
In particular, the aid is supporting health and nutrition for women and children across some of the worst affected areas in Chikwawa, Nsanje, and Zomba
According a press release from the Embassy of Ireland, Ireland has also provided K328 million to Save the Children to support 5 500 households in Zomba to address immediate needs through cash transfers.
Irish Aid’s country strategy focuses in particular on climate sensitive agricultural diversification as well as building the resilience of Malawi to better plan and respond to disasters, including though the innovative use of cash transfers to protect the most vulnerable.
The release explains that Ireland was already working with the Ministry of Gender, Children’s Disability and Social Welfare in providing a monthly social cash transfer and a lean season top-up to 22 500 families in Balaka and Ntcheu.
In Neno, through Save the Children, Ireland has just provided K316 million to 4 000 households for cash transfers, orange flesh sweet potato vines and also for fuel-efficient cook stoves to reduce deforestation.
After seeing first-hand how needy Malawians were being assisted by the combo of projects, Cunningham remarked: “This additional K615 million builds on our ongoing annual support in agriculture and social protection to address the adverse effects of climate change and other shocks.”
The direct funding from the Irish Government complements Ireland’s ongoing support through multilateral and NGO channels, including the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, the European Union emergency funding and the START network which provided an earlier rapid funding response to other NGOs, including HelpAge and GOAL