U.N., partners give $9.2 million emergency funds for Malawi flood relief

By Magdalena Mis LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The United Nations and its partners have allocated $9.2 million in emergency funding to save lives and bring help to people in three districts hardest hit by floods in southern Malawi. The money will help provide food, shelter, education, water, sanitation, agriculture and other emergency aid to more than 270,000 people affected by floods in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Phalombe districts, the world body said. Torrential rains and flash floods in southeast Africa have killed 104 people, injured 645 and displaced 230,000 in 15 of Malawi's 28 districts, and 172 are missing. As well as helping to feed displaced people, "...the CERF funding will support re-planting, where feasible, this harvest season to ensure families who have lost everything including their crop are not food insecure until the next harvest in 2016," UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said in a statement. Malawi is one of the world's poorest and most densely populated countries, and about 85 percent of its 17.5 million people are farmers living in rural areas. The majority of the funding - $6.9 million - will come from the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which can release cash quickly after a disaster without aid agencies having to wait for donations to roll in, the statement said. More than $2.2 million will come from the Humanitarian Window, a U.N.-run local mechanism, with donations from the UK International Development Department, the Flanders International Cooperation Agency and the Norwegian Embassy in Malawi.​ (Reporting By Magdalena Mis; Editing by Tim Pearce)