UK provides K1.3 billion support to Malawi


The United Kingdom (UK) has provided £1 million (about K1.3 billion) in lifesaving support to Malawi in response to the devastating floods caused by Cyclone Freddy.

The UK’s emergency package of assistance comprises a team of emergency medical personnel, a team with international search and rescue expertise (ISAR), specialist boats, and urgently needed emergency relief items such as shelter materials and water filters.

This is in addition to the immediate support the UK provided to the Malawi Government at the Emergency Operations Centre in Blantyre when the cyclone hit. This included food assistance, staff and vehicles to help Government and the UN launch emergency operations.

The UK ISAR team will be supporting Malawian counterparts; the team is bringing lightweight, nimble boats and a drone team to help in the search for survivors of the floods. These boats will be gifted to Malawi Government for future emergency use when the UK ISAR team departs.

The Emergency Medical Team will support hospitals in southern Malawi to treat the victims of Cyclone Freddy. They will also join with an existing cholera-focussed UK EMT to help to reduce the risk that the on-going cholera outbreak gets worse following the floods.

Shelter and Water Filters will provide emergency shelter to approximately 3000 people. The water filters will allow up to 12,750 of those affected by floods to access clean water and protect themselves from disease.

The UK International Search and Rescue advance party arrived in Malawi on Friday, 17th March. An additional Emergency Medical Team arrived in Blantyre yesterday and the main UK International Search and Rescue team also arrived on the same day through Kamuzu International Airport.

Acting British High Commissioner to Malawi Sophia Willitts-King said:

“The UK is saddened by the tragic loss of life caused by Cyclone Freddy due to the extreme rainfall and unprecedented flooding in Southern Malawi. We stand side by side with Malawi in responding to this crisis.

“The UK’s rapid support will help Malawi with its search and rescue efforts. The additional medical capacity will help Malawi’s hospitals save lives. We are providing temporary shelter to give families protection from the weather. We are also investing in equipment that will help people access clean water and sanitation facilities. This support is vital to prevent the spread of deadly diseases, including cholera.”

In Malawi, flooding due to Cyclone Freddy has resulted in 447 deaths. Over 300,00 people have been displaced and are living in 505 camps set up across the Southern Region.

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