Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi says Malawi needs $300 million (K225 billion) to normalise the floods damage after cyclone Idai.
Dausi made the remarks at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) yesterday when his ministry received relief items from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
He said government underestimated its earlier disaster estimates.
“We appeal for more help, not just $45 million. We need more about $300 million to stabilise the situation. It is our prayer that people of goodwill help us, but above all we thank UNHCR for the timely donation,” said Dausi.
Among others UNHCR’s relief items include duvets, cooking utensils, cooking oil and clothes.
Speaking after a symbolic presentation, UNHCR representative Monique Ekoko said her organisation will continue helping Malawi because it has been a friend in times of need.
“When cyclone Idai hit the country, we organised items from our partners. Malawi has been a good partner and kept our people at Dzaleka,” she said.
Early March, a tropical cyclone formed in the Mozambique Channel and drifted to Malawi on March 5 causing heavy rains accompanied by strong winds. The heavy and persistent rain led to severe flooding across some districts in southern Malawi.
More than 868 900 people have been affected, including more than 86 980 displaced, with 60 deaths and 672 injuries.
The heavy rains that fell in the country damaged infrastructure, including houses, roads, bridges and water wells and irrigation systems.
Most of the displaced are living in displacement sites such as schools, churches, community buildings and other temporary shelters.
On Thursday, government through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), launched the 2019 Flood Response Plan and Appeal in Lilongwe with an overall strategic objective of ensuring that affected households receive timely assistance.
It is also focuses on priority areas such as Health, Water, Sanitation and hygiene (Wash), shelter, protection, food security, agriculture, nutrition, transport and logistics, and education and early recovery.
The total requirements for the response plan is K33.5 billion ($45.2 million) out of which K10.8 billion ($14.6 million) has been received or pledged so far, leaving an outstanding gap of K22.6 billion ($30.6 million).
On March 8 2019, President Peter Mutharika declared a State of Disaster in areas affected by the floods.
Since then, a number of countries, humanitarian partners and companies have been donating towards the flood disaster response operations. n