UKaid to help earthquake victims in Malawi

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DFID today announced =A3950,000 emergency UK aid to help victims of the Karonga Earthquake in Malawi.

The UKaid will be spent on providing immediate relief for the 30,000 people whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by two major earthquakes in Karonga district which killed four people in December.

Specifically it will:

Support the reconstruction of homes: Money will be given to the Malawi Red Cross to provide families with the materials they need to rebuild their homes. It will also help the government produce guidelines on affordable earthquake-resilient house construction.

Provide essential humanitarian relief: Charities have reported seriously depleted resources as a result of earthquake relief efforts. The funding will pay for survival kits, tents and plastic sheeting which charities have distributed so effectively to the families most hit by the earthquake. And enable them to replace these stocks quickly, so that Malawi is ready to cope with any further emergencies during the current flood season.

International Development Minister, Gareth Thomas said:

"The earthquakes in Malawi have devastated local infrastructure in the Karonga district and left many thousands of people homeless.

"While the initial humanitarian response has been effective in providing emergency shelter and relief, there is now a great need to help families move out of displacement camps and rebuild their lives.

"The UK is committed to helping the people of Malawi cope with the devastation caused by these earthquakes and will provide immediate support for the reconstruction of homes and emergency relief."

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. UK aid to the Government of Malawi is focused on providing food, schooling and better healthcare for those living in extreme poverty. UK aid has already helped to lift 1m people out of poverty, built more than 4,000 classrooms and led to nearly two-thirds of people now have access to clean water.