Japan supports Malawi to accelerate response and recovery through innovative WASH and health interventions in Phalombe and Mulanje.

29 January 2024
Children drinking safe water
UNICEF Malawi/2024
Happy children drinking safe water

29 January 2024 – The Government of Japan announced a grant of more than MK1.99 billion (USD 1,171,106) to Malawi, through UNICEF, to support the country’s recovery from Tropical Cyclone Freddy by improving access to essential water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health services in Mulanje and Phalombe districts, which were heavily impacted by the cyclone.

The grant also seeks to build resilience by equipping vulnerable communities in the two districts with the capacity and knowledge to respond effectively to future disasters and climate-related shocks.

With this grant, UNICEF and its partners will reach approximately 75,000 people with innovative WASH and health interventions such as the installation of climate-resilient water systems, strengthening of early warning systems, drone delivery of medical supplies, and enhanced mobile clinic services in the two districts from January 2024 to January 2025.

Minister of Water and Sanitation Honourable Abida Sidik Mia said: “Malawi is currently making all the necessary efforts in attaining universal access to water by 2030 as per the Sustainable Development Goal number 6. This calls for mobilization of both local and resources from development partners such as Japan. These resources are targeting new WASH infrastructure but also rehabilitation of malfunctioning WASH systems in the country.”

Ambassador of Japan to Malawi Yoichi Oya said: “Malawi is still in its recovery phase from the damages caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy. Japan is pleased to partner with UNICEF to support Malawi’s recovery to foster resilience in some critical areas such as WASH and health.

“Promoting universal health coverage, strengthening disease prevention measures, and enhancing disaster preparedness and response are interlinked goals that help to save lives, improve people’s well-being and build the resilience of communities. Achieving these complementary goals requires significant investment in water supply and sanitation, health systems and measures to prevent and respond to disasters.”, said Oya. 

UNICEF Malawi’s recent emergency situation report highlights that the WASH sector has a 72% funding gap, while the health sector is underfunded by 74%.

UNICEF Representative Shadrack Omol said the contribution of the Government of Japan is timely to help sustain the provision of critical WASH and health services in vulnerable communities.

“The assistance not only plays a vital role in addressing immediate needs and saving and improving the lives of vulnerable children and women, but also contributes to the broader goal of building disaster-resilient communities in the most vulnerable areas,” said Omol.

Phalombe and Mulanje were among the most affected districts after Tropical Cyclone Freddy hit the country in March 2023. At least 2.3 million people were affected, of whom close to 660,000 were displaced by the impact of the floods. The impact of the floods resulting from the cyclone is still felt in many parts of the country, especially the Southern Region.

Media contacts

Rogers Siula
Communication Officer
UNICEF Malawi
Tel: +265999522 225
Wakiko Sen
Researcher (Economic and Development Cooperation)
Embassy of Japan
Tel: +265 987 072 468

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