Japan provides $1.25 million to UNICEF and WFP in response to Malawi floods

23 April 2019
Children participating in Children's Corner Activities in a tent provided by UNICEF at Bangula Admarc Camp in Nsanje
UNICEF Malawi/2019/Thoko Chikondi
Children participating in Children's Corner activities in a tent provided by UNICEF at Bangula Admarc Camp in Nsanje.

Lilongwe 23 April 2019 – The Government of Japan has provided a contribution of USD 1.25 million to respond to emergency needs in Malawi following Cyclone Idai. The contribution, provided to the World Food Programme, will support immediate food and cash-based transfer to flood-affected population and early recovery efforts, while the contribution to UNICEF will support child protection and menstrual hygiene measures in camps and communities.

More than 860,000 people have been impacted in 15 affected districts since 9 March, according to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA). In support of the Government-led response, WFP is targeting 414,000 people with food and cash assistance. Japan’s contribution is following its immediate response through providing non-food items (NFIs) such as tents and blankets that arrived on March 22.

“I am confident that this contribution will be effectively managed by WFP and UNICEF to facilitate early recovery of the affected population. Japan is also a disaster prone country hence we understand how people, especially vulnerable groups including women, girls and children, suffer from disasters when they are not prepared,” said the Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Her Excellency Kae Yanagisawa.

Both UNICEF and WFP expressed their gratitude to the Government of Japan for the USD 1.25 million assistance. “We hope to further strengthen our partnership with Japan and make joint efforts towards achieving zero hunger,” said WFP Malawi Country Director Benoit Thiry. “WFP is shifting to more sustainable solutions, coupling its emergency response for flood-affected population with early recovery programmes that encourage self-reliance,” said Thiry.

The USD 1 million grant to WFP will contribute to implement the 2019 Floods Response Plan through the provision of cash-based transfers and early recovery efforts in the most affected district of Nsanje. 21,000 targeted population will receive life-saving support while helping the most vulnerable recover from the shock and rebuild their livelihoods. From 2014 to 2019, the Government of Japan has contributed US$ 16 million to WFP humanitarian and development programmes in Malawi.

The support from Japan also includes $250,000 towards UNICEF’s programme. UNICEF anticipates that this programme will reach at least 14,000 children through child friendly spaces in evacuation camps. The funding will include support for training of service providers and supplies for the spaces. It will also provide menstrual hygiene management supplies for 6,000 adolescent girls and women. These measures are necessary to address heightened vulnerabilities for displaced children in the evacuation sites and as they return to their communities.

“During this emergency, UNICEF’s priority is to help children and families who have lost their homes and are living in evacuation centres or with other families in their communities,” UNICEF Malawi Representative Johannes Wedenig said. “In these situations, children and especially adolescent girls face increased risks, including risk of trafficking and gender-based violence. The new funding from Japan will allow us to scale up our response to protect children and adolescent girls.”

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