Malawi President Appeals for $700 Million in International Aid for Post Cyclone Freddy Reconstruction and Recovery

Malawi President Appeals for $700 Million in International Aid for Post Cyclone Freddy Reconstruction and Recovery

In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which wreaked havoc in Malawi, leaving over 1,000 people dead and close to 700,000 individuals without shelter, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has issued an urgent plea for international assistance. The nation requires an estimated $700 million to undertake the monumental task of rebuilding and recovering from the disastrous storm that struck in March, primarily affecting 15 districts in southern Malawi while also impacting Mozambique and Madagascar.

According to President Chakwera, Malawi has already suffered $500 million in losses as a result of the devastating cyclone. He emphasized that the country is in dire need of funds, which are not currently available within their budget, to support the recovery and reconstruction efforts. Chakwera likened Malawi’s situation to that of a nation under attack and urged the international community to extend their support in rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by Cyclone Freddy.

The Malawian president remains committed to actively seeking international aid and intends to engage with world leaders at upcoming global events to discuss specific proposals on how they can contribute to the recovery process. Chakwera is currently in the United Kingdom, where he is expected to meet with other leaders during the coronation of King Charles III of Britain.

This call for help comes on the heels of the United Nations flash appeal for $70.6 million in April to provide aid to cyclone victims in Malawi. Unfortunately, the UN has reported that they have received less than 11% of the requested amount. The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Malawi has not yet disclosed the details of its contribution to cyclone recovery efforts in the country.

Despite the financial challenges faced by both the Malawian government and its international partners, a group of well-wishers within the country has taken the initiative to raise funds and construct low-cost housing for impoverished cyclone survivors. Since the launch of the initiative in April, more than 12 houses have been built in various districts affected by the storm.

Kondwani Ngwira, a local entrepreneur, leads this group of compassionate individuals. He shared with VOA that they began the initiative after realizing that many of the storm’s victims were unable to afford land to rebuild their lives. Additionally, they noticed that children had stopped attending school due to the loss of their homes. Ngwira highlighted the importance of providing these children with proper housing, allowing them to return to school and overcome the psychological trauma caused by the disaster.

The group hopes to construct at least 400 low-cost houses for those displaced by Tropical Cyclone Freddy if they can secure the necessary funding. As Malawi faces the daunting task of recovery, the resilience and determination of its people are evident, but it is clear that they require significant international support to rebuild and heal from this devastating natural disaster.

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