Thursday, July 23, 2015

UNHCR Malawi helps flood victims to rebuild shattered lives

A press release from the UNHCR: The floods, when they came, came without warning. They were Malawi's worst in 20 years, sweeping through 15 districts in January 2015 and forcing 174,000 people to flee their
homes. Sixty-two people were killed and thousands more risked disease. Now, thanks to nearly US $600,000 from a special UN emergency fund, UNHCR Malawi has given affected populations a chance to rebuild their lives.

The UN's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has enabled UNHCR Malawi to provide core relief items to 8,120 households in the worst-hit districts of Machinga, Zomba, Mulanje and Phalombe. Between May 24 and June 4 this year, kitchen sets, blankets, sleeping mats and insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed to thankful locals.

Women were particularly excited by the kitchen sets, having had to try and find work to raise money to buy cooking pots, plates, cups, and other household items lost in the floods.

"I was going to sell sand, but now I do not have to," one woman told UNHCR. "It would take me a very long time to recover the lost items, but this has now changed, thanks to UNHCR."

Men, too, were grateful for UNHCR's help. "The blankets and mats are just what we needed to pull through this bad weather," said one male recipient. "And the mosquito nets will safe guard against malaria."

Locator map of Malawi by TUBS, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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