Sunday, February 1, 2015

After intense flooding, Malawi desperately needs scale-up in international aid – UN experts

UN News Centre: The international community must rapidly respond to the devastating flooding affecting Malawi with critical humanitarian aid and appropriate funding, a group of United Nations human rights experts affirmed today, warning that the African country was facing “its worst flooding in living memory.”

In a press release, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Léo Heller, encouraged the international community to do “everything possible to meet the current serious shortfall in funds and provision of essential aid,” especially as only a quarter of the urgently required $81 million of a Preliminary Response Plan had been received to date.

“The flooding has displaced large numbers of people and presents massive and complex challenges for Governments and their humanitarian allies in the short, medium and longer-term,” Mr. Beyani said.

“Evacuation of affected populations should be undertaken where necessary to save lives, and an effective humanitarian response is essential to address the needs of internally displaced people and others affected,” he continued. “Helping people to return and reconstruct devastated homes - when circumstances allow - will be just one challenge among many to rebuild lives and livelihoods and should be part of a broader recovery plan.”

Malawi is regularly hit by floods and droughts, requiring emergency responses of varying size each year. This year, flooding has caused displacement of over 170,000 people, while an estimated 116,000 households have lost their crops and livestock. In Nsanje district alone, 79 people are confirmed dead with another 153 people still missing...

Basket Bridge, Rumphi, northern Malawi, crossing South Rukuru river, shot by Michaelphoya, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International 4.0 license

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