Malawi Appeals for More Cyclone Freddy Recovery Aid

Blantyre, Malawi — Malawi’s president is appealing for international help, saying the country needs about $700 million to rebuild after a storm killed more than 1,000 people in March.

President Lazarus Chakwera said this week Malawi has lost $500 million to Tropical Cyclone Freddy. The cyclone, which also affected Mozambique and Madagascar, hit 15 districts in southern Malawi, rendering nearly 700,000 people homeless.

“After this emergency period has passed, our experts also estimate that the work of recovery and reconstruction will cost an additional 700 billion Kwacha, funds we do not have, and which are outside our recently passed budget,” he said.

Chakwera said Malawi would respond to the problem like a nation under attack, not a nation under threat.

He appealed for international help with rebuilding infrastructure lost to Freddy.

“This is why the state of national disaster that I declared on March 13 to call for international support remains in force, and why I will use few upcoming international gatherings of world leaders to directly engage them with specific proposals on how they can support us with the daunting task we have going forward,” Chakwera said.

Chakwera left the country Wednesday for the United Kingdom, where he expected to meet world leaders during the coronation of King Charles III of Britain.

Chakwera’s appeal comes two weeks after the U.N. renewed a flash appeal to humanitarian partners made in April for $70.6 million to support cyclone victims in Malawi. The U.N. says less than 11 percent was donated.

The U.N. Resident Coordinator’s Office in Malawi could not respond to a questionnaire from VOA on Monday on its contribution toward cyclone recovery efforts in Malawi.