14 May 2015
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In January 2015, extremely heavy rains and floods displaced 230,000 people in Malawi, and 50,000 people in Mozambique. In response, United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos approved US$10.9 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support humanitarian partners assisting thousands of families.

In Mozambique, over 160,000 people (including 50,000 internally displaced persons) were affected by flooding mainly in Zambézia, Nampula and Niassa provinces.  In Malawi, an estimated 616,000 people were affected by the floods and required immediate humanitarian assistance. Many have lost everything, including their homes.

With support from CERF, UN Agencies such as the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the World Health Organization (WHO) provided emergency life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable.

CERF’s rapid response grant helped WFP provide emergency aid to 438,000 of the most vulnerable people with food or cash-based assistance in Malawi. For many affected by the floods in Malawi, WFP is the only source of food and nutrition. Esnart Thomu and her family are among those receiving help from the agency. “I now sleep on a full stomach and wake up with the assurance that there is still food to keep me going. This food gives me hope that I will have energy to restart a normal life,” said Esnart.

IOM provided life-saving humanitarian shelter to over 40,000 people displaced by flooding in the Zambezia Province of Mozambique. “The situation is critical for many families that have lost everything, including their homes and crops for the year,” said IOM project manager Camila Rivero-Maldonado. IOM is providing these families with transit emergency shelter materials such as tarpaulins, rope and solar lamps, as well as shelter tool kits.

Over 280,000 people in Malawi and Mozambique still live in tents and other temporary shelters where sanitation and hygiene practices are a challenge. Since the beginning of the year, over 8,000 cases of cholera were reported in Malawi (425 cases) and Mozambique (7,853 cases). With support from CERF, WHO conducted an emergency health response to the outbreak of cholera and a vaccination campaign is still ongoing. The preliminary results of the campaign show that over 143,000 people were vaccinated, close to a 89% coverage.

With CERF funds, humanitarian partners in Malawi and Mozambique also provided clean water, sanitation services, seeds and tools so that affected farming families have another chance at a harvest and a livelihood this year.

More information on CERF’s rapid response grant for Malawi can be found here.

More information on CERF’s rapid response grant for Mozambique can be found here.