The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says it is mobilising resources for an emergency response to support an estimated 130,000 people affected by Cyclone Freddy.
WFP’s Country Director in Malawi, Paul Turnbull, says in a statement that a lot of areas are inaccessible, restricting the movement of assessment and humanitarian teams and life-saving supplies.
“We are ramping up as quickly as we can under the circumstances, but the true extent of the damage will only be revealed once assessments have been concluded. What is clear though is that the country will need significant support,” said Turnbull.
WFP is providing immediate lifesaving food assistance by distributing corn soya blend, a partially pre-cooked fortified food consumed as porridge to displaced people.
WFP is also providing trucks to the humanitarian community to transport supplies and boats used by the Government for search and rescue operations.
About 500 people have been rescued so far. WFP also plans to deploy a helicopter to support the airlift of urgently needed medical supplies, food, fuel, and other relief items.
The cyclone has left unprecedented devastation in 14 district councils of the Southern Region of Malawi.
President Dr Lazarus Chakwera is in the Southern Region visiting districts hit hard by the cyclone and providing guidance on what needs to be done to alleviate the suffering.
Officials say the quantity of rainfall received in the country within the last six days due to Cyclone Freddy is equivalent to over six months of rainfall in a normal set-up. – MBC Online Services.