UN partners Malawi to contain fallout from flooding as tropical cyclone approaches

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-14 13:54:52|Editor: Yurou
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LILONGWE, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations (UN) has joined with Malawi in effort to contain the recent floods that have left 56 dead, according to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).

The UN took actions quickly and is working with Malawi's government through DoDMA to support a rapid needs assessment and reach those most in need with life-saving rescue and relief assistance, said a press release from the UN office in Malawi published Wednesday.

"We are saddened that thousands of people have been affected by the floods and (we) express our solidarity with the government of Malawi and the victims of the floods," said UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi Maria Jose Torres in the press release.

Assessment teams are expected to provide comprehensive needs analysis towards the end of the week with a focus on emergency shelters, food assistance, clean water, and protection of children, adolescent girls, women, the elderly, and people with disabilities, among others, said the UN.

"The UN is working with DoDMA to expand early warning messages to all vulnerable communities for them to move to high grounds, avoid crossing flooding rivers and for them not to seek shelter under trees or weak infrastructure," said the release.

Weather forecasts showed that tropical cyclone Idai is fast approaching Malawi over the next four days, and that more heavy rains and strong winds are expected in Malawi from Thursday through Sunday, raising fears of additional floods, said the UN.

As the assessment of damage caused by the March 5-8 floods continues, the death toll keeps increasing. The latest number went up to 56 with three people missing, as reported Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the number of injured people remains at 577. Nearly 185,000 households and approximately 923,000 people have been affected.

About 16,500 households and approximately 83,000 people have been displaced. Most of them are sheltered in 187 camps that the country has established in the 14 affected districts.