UK supports Malawi flood victims’ recovery

20 May 2019
Three-year-old Patrick, in his grandfather's arms, gets his measles-rubella vaccine at Nkhwazi camp in Chikwawa
UNICEF Malawi/2019/Amos Gumulira
Three-year-old Patrick, in his grandfather's arms, gets his measles-rubella vaccine at Nkhwazi camp in Chikwawa

Lilongwe, 20 May 2019: As the Malawi Floods Emergency responses enters its second-phase running from April to June, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has provided an additional £1.6m million (USD 2.06 million) to UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP), Concern Worldwide and GOAL to support recovery efforts of families displaced by floods in the southern region. This includes provision of cash transfers so that communities can withstand future shocks, nutrition support, seeds for the winter crop, prevention of post-harvest losses for smallholder farmers, rehabilitation of boreholes and continued support to mobile clinics.

"It’s crucial that we turn our attention now to early recovery, helping those affected by the floods to rebuild shattered livelihoods and homes. The UK’s package of cash transfers, seeds, health services and resilient infrastructure will help Malawians recover from some of their losses, improve their food security and nutrition, and re-build essential infrastructure such as water boreholes," said David Beer, Head of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Malawi.

The latest UK aid funding will enable UNICEF, WFP, and the NGOs Concern Worldwide and GOAL to help flood victims achieve food security and rebuild their livelihoods. UK aid will be used for the following activities:

  1. WFP and UNICEF will support about 7,500 households benefiting from the Government’s Social Cash Transfer Programme with an emergency cash top-up in two of the worst affected districts, Zomba and Chikwawa.  
  2. UNICEF’s mobile clinics will continue to support 200,000 affected people with lifesaving services and treat diseases and conditions of emergency health in nature, including cholera, and typhoid.
  3. UNICEF will rehabilitate and upgrade selected boreholes, providing solar powered water to 17,000 people in Phalombe and Machinga districts.
  4. WFP will assist 20,000 households in the target districts with Perdue Improved Crop Storage bags to reduce post-harvest losses and enhance food safety.
  5. WFP will provide cash-based transfers to 21,200 people, particularly vulnerable children (6-23 months) and pregnant and breastfeeding women, to increase the nutritive value of their food.
  6. Concern Worldwide and GOAL will provide around 60,000 people with seeds and agricultural inputs so they can plant a winter crop.

“As the displaced children and families have started to rebuild their homes, it is important that they access safe water. With this funding we will support the rehabilitation of damaged boreholes and upgrade them to more sustainable solar-powered models for greater resilience among targeted communities,” said UNICEF Malawi Representative a.i Roisin De Burca.

“With this additional funding, WFP will provide multi-sector support to help people most affected by floods to quickly recover,” said WFP Malawi Representative Benoit Thiry. “For instance, WFP will also support affected smallholder farmers with post-harvest food management techniques so that they do not further lose the little they have harvested.”

“The winter cropping season presents a significant opportunity to address rural livelihood restoration and prevent longer term aid dependency – but this requires quick action. The distributions of agricultural inputs that GOAL is currently facilitating in Nsanje and Chikwawa will support disaster affected families to make the most of this opportunity,” said Country Director GOAL Philippa Sackett.  

“With funding from DFID, Concern is focusing on recovery and resilience of the affected population through the provision of timely agriculture-related items to help affected families to produce a ‘winter crop’. This will assist in easing immediate food and nutrition needs and decrease dependence on aid” said Country Director for Concern Worldwide Yousaf Jogezai.  

In March, DFID provided £3.4 million to WFP and UNICEF to distribute food and provide health, shelter and water and sanitation services to the most-affected families living in camps.  This funding has enabled UNICEF to provide safe water to over 61,317 people and latrines to 53,391 people in camps. With funding from DFID and other donors, WFP has provided food and cash assistance to 414,000 displaced people in the first cycle of the response (March/April).

The March 2019 floods affected about 800,000 people in 15 districts, displacing about 90,000 families. Two months on, the Government has conducted a Post Disaster Needs Assessment in the areas impacted by the floods to determine recovery and reconstruction needs.

DFID’s partners are working closely with the UN Humanitarian Country Team, DoDMA, Ministry of Gender, local authorities and partners to coordinate urgent assistance. The UK aid intervention will be closely coordinated with other sectors, including agriculture, education, nutrition, early recovery and protection, to ensure a joined-up relief and recovery effort.


Notes for media

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Media contacts

James Kessell
Department for International Development (DFID)
Tel: +265 88 700 5693
Rebecca Phwitiko
Communications Officer
Tel: 0999282723


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