10 Mar 2015
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After heavy rains and floods hit southern Malawi in January 2015, an immediate US$7 million allocation from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) helped UN agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) provide urgent assistance for thousands of Malawian families.

More than 1.1 million people were affected in the country and some 230,000 people were displaced. Families fled with what little they could carry, some found shelter in makeshift structures, schools, churches and other public buildings while thousands were forced to sleep out in the open.

“The funding comes at a critical time. We are working hard with a range of partners to scale up our support to the Government-led response to save lives and bring food, medicine and other vital supplies to flood-affected areas,” said Ms. Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi, when the allocation was announced.

Bernardo Mariano, Regional Director for IOM Southern Africa, said “Support from CERF has enabled IOM to expand rapidly and deploy the relevant expertise and resources required to address critical life-saving needs and reinforce the provision of humanitarian assistance in flood-affected areas.”

With almost $870,000 from CERF, IOM provided emergency camp coordination and management services and shelter assistance for 7,000 displaced households.

According to Sam Grundy, IOM’s Emergency Coordinator in Malawi, a critical component of IOM’s CERF-funded response was its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) system, an information management tool used to gather information on the status and location of displaced people.

“Given the needs of displaced populations in relation to the humanitarian resources available, DTM will ensure humanitarian actors are able to prioritize response according to verified humanitarian needs,” Grundy said. For example, the DTM helps with the identification and referral of severely at risk people within camps for displaced families, including survivors of gender-based violence.

Other UN agencies such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children Agency (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) also received emergency funding from CERF to assist people affected by flood in Malawi.

Find out more about CERF-funded work in Malawi here.