Humanitarian community launches emergency appeal

The Humanitarian Country Team in Malawi has launched an Emergency Appeal that brings together the United Nations (UN) and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) immediate response to the COVID-19.

The appeals amounting to $139.2 million emergency funding for UN agencies and NGOs is meant to support Malawi Government’s preparedness and response efforts for the months of May to October, 2020.

A statement released by the Humanitarian team in Lilongwe on Monday says the appeals targets 7.5 million people countrywide and compliments the National COVID-19 Preparedness and response Plan launched on 8 April, this year.

According to the UN Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres, apart from supporting public health actions, the appeal provides for targeted humanitarian assistance and protection to those in most need.

“The UN and its partners recognise that the situation is evolving rapidly in Malawi and those living under poverty line, the most vulnerable and at risk communities could be hit the hardest.

“The situation calls for urgent strengthening of the state of preparedness and response across the country, with a strong focus on the local level and the urban and peri urban areas to avert escalation of the COVID-19 spread and worsening of the pandemic’s socioeconomic effects on the people of Malawi,” said Torres.

The emergency Appeal emphasises on the continued delivery of basic essential services and protection of livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities.

Speaking on behalf of the NGO Consortium, Save the Children Country Director, Kim Koch said the appeal will work towards saving lives and prevent loss of livelihoods.

Principal Secretary and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni hailed the appeal saying it is critical to Malawi’s efforts to contain the pandemic and ensure better recovery.

Malawi Government has put in place measure that ensures that the virus is suppressed while ensuring that vulnerable people are protected.

“The contributions of development partners and the humanitarian community have been prepared in a coordinated way with the national institutions to strengthen the capacity to end the COVID-19 crisis and handle its socioeconomic fallout,” he said.

Apart from focusing on public health response, the emergency appeal seeks to limit secondary impacts of COVID-19 by ensuring support to vulnerable groups through various means such as safety nets for those who lose income due to the public health measures or are unable to access adequate food and water.

It also prioritises promotion of primary healthcare services including sexual and reproductive health services and access to medical services for gender based violence survivors.

Vulnerable persons such as those living with HIV and AIDS, persons with disabilities, persons with albinism, single headed households, street children, the elderly, pregnant women among others are part of those targeted for the appeal.

Source: MANA Online