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Zim To Send Aid To Cyclone-Hit Malawi


Zimbabwe will immediately commence mobilization of relief assistance in the form of foodstuffs, construction material and clothing to victims of cyclone Freddy in Malawi following a cabinet directive.

Nearly 363,000 people have been displaced across flood-affected areas and Malawian authorities reported on Saturday that the death toll had risen to 447, with at least 282 people still missing.

Some 75,000 hectares of cropland has been flooded, just as farmers were about to harvest the only crop of the year.

Addressing journalists at a post-cabinet briefing in Harare Broadcasting and Publicity Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said, Cabinet has constituted a Disaster Relief Committee led by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to draw up a comprehensive assistance package for disaster-stricken Malawi.

“Cabinet has directed that the mobilization of relief assistance should commence immediately and include 10 000 metric tonnes of mealie meal; cooking oil; blankets;  clothing; construction material for cabins; sanitisers, detergents, bath soaps, stationery and other learning materials,” said Mutsvangwa.

“To widen the scope of donations to Malawi, Government is encouraging the private sector, national institutions and citizens to donate generously to this worthy cause.”

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera recently sent a distress call to fellow SADC Heads of State and Government as rescue efforts continue.

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A UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths this week released US$5.5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to assist cyclone-affected people in Malawi, as the devastating toll of floods and mudslides in the country’s southern region continues to rise.

UNICEF estimated that 4.8 million children are in humanitarian need.

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