Malawi – Call for ‘Urgent Support’ After Disaster Declared

Malawi’s President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera declared a state of disaster in 23 of its 28 districts on Saturday, hot on the heels of neighboring Zambia, which has also appealed for aid.

The government of Malawi is seeking urgent assistance following Saturday’s declaration by the country’s president of a state of disaster caused by drought.

The East African country’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs called for the international community to channel contributions towards “alleviating the suffering” of all those who were being impacted by an ongoing drought.

State of disaster declared

On Saturday, President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera declared a state of disaster because of the ongoing drought in 23 of its 28 districts

McCarthy also made an appeal for “urgent support” as the country grapples with what government said was “El-Nino induced prolonged dry spells and floods.”

El Nino is a natural, cyclical climate pattern that tends to cause hotter weather and reduced precipitation and has heightened the risk of food, water and health security in some parts of the world.

Chakwera said that more than $200 million (roughly €185 million) in humanitarian assistance was needed.

The move comes less than a month after neighboring Zambia appealed for help. According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) seasonal monitor, southern Africa is under the influence of El Nino patterns associated with below-average rainfall patterns and below-average harvests.