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Malawi: ActionAid International Strengthens Resilience As Cyclone Freddy Death Toll Rises in Malawi

ActionAid International–a global humanitarian organization operating in many countries including Malawi–says it is scaling up its interventions and working with local partners in the country “to urgently assess the impact of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, provide vital assistance to the worst affected survivors and support rescue efforts”.

The organization has stated this in a press release dated 16th March, 2023, which has been made available to Nyasa Times.

Its gesture follow the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy which made a landfall in southern Malawi last weekend, raging through the region for days and causing gusty winds, heavy rainfall, mudslides and increased flooding.

Authorities put the death toll at 326 as of Friday, 17th March, 2023. They add the cyclone has displaced 183,159 people, with households displaced by the natural phenomenon now at 40,702.

Seven hundred and ninety-six people are injured and many more are missing.

In its press release, ActionAid International notes that “the devastating impact of the cyclone has left many people in dire need of humanitarian aid”.

This confession is mirrored in some of the victims, officials of the organization interacted with on the ground and their personal accounts of the devastation have been included in the press release.

Maria, who was displaced by the storm in Kampira village, said: “I have lost all my property. We are in urgent need of food, shelter, and clothing.”

Esther, another displaced person and survivor from Nyang’a Village, said: “My property and belongings have been washed away. As a result, I am currently displaced.”

Pamela Kuwali, Country Director of ActionAid Malawi, said: “The country is reeling from the impact of Cyclone Freddy. This is a community which was already under huge pressure before the cyclone hit, with a fifth of people in the country facing food insecurity, over 70 percent of people living below the poverty line and the deadliest outbreak of cholera experienced by Malawi underway.

“Our priority now is to support partners working in the districts affected to undergo a rapid needs assessment to understand the scale of the damage. We are also involved with rescue efforts to find people who are missing.”

According to ActionAid International, the World Meteorological Organization continues to assess whether Tropical Cyclone Freddy is the longest-running tropical cyclone in history.