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UNICEF Malawi Humanitarian Situation Report - Cyclone/flood Sitrep: March - June 2019

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Situation Report
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Highlights

  • By the end of June, all of those displaced from the cyclone and flooding in March have now returned to their places of origin or resettled in newly identified land. UNICEF and partners are supporting recovery efforts to help affected people and communities sustainably recover and reconstruct.

  • To date, 150,000 flood affected people were reached with key integrated child protection, education, health, nutrition and WASH messages through various channels.

  • UNICEF has so far in 2019 reached a total of 29,277 beneficiaries with cash-based interventions in selected food insecure and floods affected districts. In the month of June, 7,613 flood affected households received cash top-ups, distributed from in Zomba (3,012) and Chikwawa (4,601) districts.

  • Since the start of the response, 345 gender-based violence cases were reported through UNICEF partner YONECO’s helplines.

Situation overview

As of 30 June, all of those displaced from the cyclone/flooding in March have returned to their places of origin or resettled in newly identified land. The response plan period that started on 20 March 2019 concluded on 30 June 2019. The Government and humanitarian partners are now swiftly switching into recovery efforts. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report was launched on 3 July, and the assessment estimates that the total cost of the impact of the disaster stands at US$ 220.2 million, while the total needs for recovery and reconstruction stand at US$ 370.5 million. A recovery plan of action is being finalized with leadership from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs in an effort to harmonize delivery of recovery interventions in line with the PDNA.

No new cholera cases were confirmed during this reporting period, with the last case reported on 8 May 2019. Cumulatively during the current cholera season which started on 1 November 2018, a total of 25 cases of cholera, including one death, were reported from Blantyre, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mwanza and Mchinji districts. Out of the 25 cases, 10 are from Mozambique and seven have a direct link with Mozambique. This is lower than the number of cases reported the same period last year, and during the 2015 flooding.

The nutrition situation remains stable across the country with the number of children admitted for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) treatment in May 2019 slightly higher than same time last year. Overall, there has been an 11 percent decrease in SAM admissions from 21,017 in 2018 to 19,376 in same period 2019. Additionally, there has been a seven percent decrease in Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) admissions from 50,122 in 2018 to 46,637 in the same period in 2019. The SAM death rate, from January to May 2019 is 2.6 percent, which is within the SPHERE Thresholds of less than 10 percent (536 deaths out of 20, 528 discharges).

There has been an increase in the number of MAM admissions in May 2019, when compared to May of 2018. The increase is likely due to pipeline breaks in supplementary feeding programmes around May to August of 2018. This might have had a significant negative impact on overall performance.

The nutrition situation could deteriorate later in the year as the food insecurity situation may escalate in localized areas, especially in the flood affected southern Malawi. According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s second round crop estimates, national food production is anticipated to be average to above-average. The Ministry of Agriculture currently estimates that the national production of maize will be about 10 percent above the five-year average. However, localized production shortfalls exist in areas hit by heavy rains and flooding, especially in southern Malawi. Prices for maize continue to be higher than normal, despite the start of the harvest and an anticipated average to above-average national crop production. This is the result of localized production shortfalls in southern Malawi which is atypically increasing market demand. Current and projected prices are estimated to be about 20 percent above the five-year average and much higher than last year’s prices. This will likely lead to reduced food access for low income households consequently increasing the risk of increased malnutrition levels.