Lilongwe April 21 Mana: In response to President Lazarus Chakwera’s declaration of disaster and the United Nation’s flash appeal for funding for assistance to Malawians affected by flooding and cholera, the United States Government has announced a new grant to address immediate humanitarian needs.
US Ambassador to Malawi, David Young made the announcement on Thursday in Lilongwe indicating that the new $4 million (4.1 billion MWK) grant is part of the U.S government’s ongoing assistance valued at approximately $5 million (more than 5.1 billion MWK) during the country’srecovery from the devastating impacts of Tropical Cyclone Freddy and the Cholera emergency.
The U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Government of Malawi through the grants given to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will deliver urgently needed shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) suppliers.
“USAID will partner with WFP to provide life-saving food assistance and urgent helicopter support to airlift medical supplies, and other relief items to communities and medically evacuate patients still cut off by flood waters an exercise that targets 142,000 Malawians,” he said.
Young added that USAID’s partnership with UNICEF will bolster WASH services in both Southern Malawi and other areas affected by cholera and will also promote safe hygiene practices through radio and phone.
“UNICEF will rehabilitate broken water and sanitation facilities in health facilities and schools, giving approximately 90,000 people access to safe water and will also help learners return safely to school by providing soap, clean water, buckets and promoting hygiene in schools and in surrounding communities, “ he said.
According to Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) currently in the process of producing a post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report, the cyclone affected more than 2,514,910 people, displaced over 659,000, with 676 deaths, 537 missing and 2,286 injured.
According to a statement released by Minister of Health, Khumbize kandodo Chiponda, the cumulative cholera confirmed cases and deaths reported since the onset of the outbreak is 58,027 and 1,740 respectively with case fatality rate at 3.0 percent.
The statement also says a total of 56,206 people have recovered with 81 currently in the treatment centers.
The U.S government which is Malawi`s longtime partner has already been working in many of the communities affected by Cyclone Freddy responding to pressing humanitarian needs.
USAID has also been supporting the nation to recover through existing projects in health, education and economic growth.