African Union officials addressing the media in Lilongwe Sunday – Pic by Chikondi Chimala
By Chikondi Chimala
African Union (AU) Sunday disclosed that it had provided Malawi with USD $100, 000(about MK75 Million) to help the recovery efforts against damage caused by effects of cyclone Idai.
Head of the AU delegation, who is the Chairperson of the AU Sub-Committee on Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons, Lamine Baali said they came to Malawi to express solidarity, sympathy and understand the impact of Cyclone Idai on Malawians.
He disclosed this in Lilongwe that the AU has donated US$100,000 and US$150,000 to Zimbabwe and Mozambique respectively.
Baali said the trip by the four-man delegation helped them to understand better the level of damage and help that is required.
“There is need for food, shelter and medicine in the short to medium term but there is need for resilience in the long term as there must be infrastructure rebuilding that includes schools, houses and roads.
This can’t be handled by government alone, hence we are calling upon partners and AU Member States to assist in this crucial area so that people’s lives can at least return to normal,” he said.
Baali commended the media for being at the fore front in giving out pertinent messages on the situation without unnecessarily alarming people.
Deputy Director for Recovery at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Dyce Nkhoma thanked the AU for the timely gesture which he said would go a long way in cushioning the immediate needs that have so far been budget at USD $45 million covering three months.
Nkhoma explained that government is currently compiling list of all the help that has so far been received in cash and kind so as to balance up what has been received and identify any gaps remaining.
The AU officials arrived in the country Thursday, on humanitarian assessment mission, following flood disasters that affected 15 districts of the country.
They were accompanied to Chikwawa and Nsanje by officials from DoDMA, the Malawi Defence Force and the South African National Defence Force and during this time they met the Ministers responsible for Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs.
President Peter Mutharika declared a state of disaster in southern part of the country, a few weeks ago following floods that killed 56 people.