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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Southern Africa

03 Feb 2022

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In 2021, in the drought-stricken south, Gasy'e had little to eat for lunch, now the east coast is bracing itself for Cyclone Batsirai. Credit: OCHA/Viviane Rakotoarivony

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 3 February 2022

Southern Africa

In late January, the Tropical Storm Ana brought winds, heavy rains, damage, destruction and loss of life to parts of Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

In each of the hardest-hit countries, the UN and humanitarian partners are stepping up the response, in support of the Government-led relief efforts.

In Madagascar, the authorities, humanitarian organizations and the private sector have mobilized assistance for people displaced by flooding. This includes cash, food, water, sanitation and hygiene items, as well as health, protection and camp management services at the displacement sites. All activities emphasizes COVID-19 risk mitigation and prevention, given the increase in transmissions reported in Antananarivo since the start of this year.

In Mozambique, the Government has conducted Search and Rescue operations and provided assistance. Humanitarian partners have distributed essential aid supplies, deployed surge staff, prepositioned emergency stocks in the affected provinces, and giving support to emergency shelters and accommodation centers. Health supplies to cover about 100,000 people for two months are going in to the three most affected provinces. This include tents, medicines, and kits for community workers. In Nampula, education materials for some 2,800 children have been distributed, while WASH partners have delivered hygiene kits and latrines.

In Malawi, relief is being distributed by the Government and aid agencies, including housing units, food assistance and non-food items.

Meanwhile, a new weather system—Tropical Cyclone Batsirai—has formed in the Indian Ocean and is expected to make landfall on the east coast of Madagascar as an Intense Tropical Cyclone on Saturday, 5 February. Batsirai has already passed Mauritius, where it left one person dead, 138 people in emergency shelter and at least 1,600 households without electricity, according to our Red Cross colleagues.

We anticipate that Batsirai’s landfall in Madagascar will have a significant impact, including strong winds and heavy flooding, including in areas that are still recovering from the passage of Tropical Storm Ana. Under the Government’s leadership, preparedness efforts are ongoing.