Press Release

Malawi launches flood response plan, appeals for support

30 March 2019

Minister of Homeland Security, Nicholas Dausi, said the response plan will direct and coordinate support to immediate needs among the flood victims

On 28th March 2019, the Malawi Government, in collaboration with its partners, launched the Flood Response Plan to respond to diverse humanitarian needs from the floods that have devastated 15 of the country’s 28 districts.

The response plan covers interventions to meet immediate needs in food, shelter, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and protection services in the affected districts. It targets 162,240 households, including about 87,000 displaced people in various districts.

Minister of Homeland Security, Nicholas Dausi, said the response plan will direct and coordinate support to immediate needs among the flood victims, saying more resources are, however, still needed to ensure an efficient response.

Of the required US$45.2 million for the response, Malawi Government and its partners have secured US$14.6 million, leaving a gap of US$30.6 million. The response plan is for immediate humanitarian needs for the initial three months.

“As we respond to the disaster, we should aim to provide durable solutions to the affected people to avoid a repeat of the same scenario in future,” said Dausi.

“The government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and district councils, is working to ensure all affected people in need of assistance get the necessary relief support regardless of distance, location and terrain.”

Dausi commended the United Nations, development partners and other members of the humanitarian community, including NGOs, companies and individuals, for rendering prompt support during disaster.

UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, said the occurrence of the disaster at the peak of the food insecurity lean season, coupled with chronic poverty in the affected districts, aggravated its impact, but the UN managed to mobilise as soon as the floods hit to provide swift support.

“As the UN, we are strengthening our capacity to support the government in the response. We have about 50 staff fully dedicated to the response and will, in the next few days receive additional surge staff for coordination,” said Torres.

“With any emergency, vulnerable populations, especially women and children, are at risk. Thus, we need to work together to ensure that we protect all vulnerable groups, ensuring child protection and preventing sexual and gender-based violence.”

Torres also said, on March 26th, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, appealed to the humanitarian community – both national and international – to fully support the response plan to ensure its smooth implementation.

The response plan aims to ensure the intended activities are well aligned and synergized with ongoing resilience building programmes being implemented by government and development partners to maximize the gains and ensure sustainability of the interventions.

In early March, a severe weather system formed off the eastern coast of Mozambique and hit Malawi with heavy rains accompanied by strong winds before moving back to the Mozambique channel where it intensified into Cyclone Idai and then affected Malawi a second time.

The heavy rains for four days caused flooding across many districts in southern Malawi. The floods have killed 59 people, injured  672 and affected more than 869,900 people in 15 districts.

Malawi launches flood response plan, appeals for support


Phillip Pemba

Development Coordination Officer, Programme Communications and Advocacy

UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Food Programme
World Health Organization