Last month, severe flooding in Malawi damaged homes and infrastructure, claiming 56 lives and displacing 82,700 people. It was the worst natural disaster to hit the country since 2015, affecting more than 1 million Malawians. The President declared a state of emergency in 15 districts, with southern districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe and Zomba seeing the most destruction. In a country like Malawi, floods stifle development efforts at every level - from agriculture and water sanitation to education and the environment.

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In the aftermath of the disaster, Raising Malawi has partnered with UNICEF to support emergency response on the ground. UNICEF Malawi leads among development agencies in quickly mobilizing resources to minimize the impact of these events on families and children in flood zones.

Thanks to an effective model and broad network in Malawi, UNICEF representatives are among the first responders to reach people and assess their needs across sectors. UNICEF utilizes schools in each community as a base of operations and provides critical services such as clean water, sanitation facilities (essential to mitigate risk of cholera outbreaks), health services (including immunizations), food, temporary shelter and “pop-up” schools (volunteer teachers, supplies and shelters) so that kids can continue to learn.

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During the last major flood emergency, Raising Malawi supported UNICEF’s efforts to reach thousands of affected families and children. With Raising Malawi’s help following the 2015 floods, UNICEF:

  • Provided 220K people in disaster zones with clean water

  • Reached 1 million people with sanitation and hygiene education to mitigate the risks of cholera transmission

  • Provided 280K people with access to safe sanitation facilities

  • Provided 84K women and children with essential health services

  • Treated 23K children with malnutrition

  • Provided 194K children in disaster zones with temporary “pop-up” school structures, including supplies and volunteer teachers

In response to the March 2019 disaster, our friends at UNICEF are hard at work again to meet the humanitarian needs of families and children impacted by these floods. Raising Malawi is proud to support UNICEF and we applaud their important work to help families return to their homes and lives.