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IOM appeals for US$ 3.15 million to assist Cyclone Idai affected communities in Malawi

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IOM Appeals for USD 3.15 Million to Assist Cyclone Idai Affected Communities in Malawi

Lilongwe – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has appealed for USD 3.15 million from the international community to enable the Organization to provide multi-sectorial humanitarian assistance to those affected by Cyclone Idai in Malawi.

When Cyclone Idai made landfall in Malawi on 14-15 March 2019, it brought heavy and persistent rains which led to severe flooding across country’s southern districts. According to the Government of Malawi figures, more than 869,900 people have been affected, including more than 86,980 displaced, with 60 deaths and 672 injuries recorded. In total, fifteen districts in southern Malawi have been impacted.

The site assessments conducted by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team in the four districts with the highest displacements – Zomba, Nsanje, Chikwawa, and Phalombe – from 25 March to 6 April 2019, recorded that 110,110 individuals (24,887 households) were displaced throughout 103 sites.

Almost all displacement sites are collective centres, where populations fled to existing structures such as churches or schools and are sheltering in and around these buildings. However, living conditions are quickly deteriorating, due to overcrowding and the lack of access to basic services. 

With agriculture being the main source of livelihood for the rural population in Malawi, the heavy rains and floods have impacted agricultural activities. As fields are inundated, recently planted corps have been destroyed. Some districts as Nsanje are already reporting food insecurity.

According to DTM assessments, the primary need for displaced people is food, followed by shelter. Displaced people report the desire to return home as soon as the rains cease. However, their homes have been destroyed and they do not currently have the means to rebuild them.

Until they are able to return home and re-cultivate their crops, the displaced population will be reliant on humanitarian assistance and forced to live in collective centres and spontaneous sites and endure substandard living conditions.

According to the DTM site assessment, half of collective centres are located in schools meaning that learners are unable to continue their education and displaced communities living in schools are able to relocate to another location. 

Find the full Malawi appeal here.

For more information, please contact Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Malawi at Email:

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