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Madagascar: UN aid agencies appeal for $36 million after deadly cyclones

Madagascar: UN aid agencies appeal for $36 million after deadly cyclones

United Nations agencies and their partners in the international humanitarian community have appealed for more than $36 million to help bring relief to the parts of Madagascar that have been buffeted by cyclones in the past month.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced on Saturday that it is seeking the funds to tackle the immediate needs of the more than 239,000 Malagasy affected either by the cyclones themselves or by other heavy rains and winds during the annual cyclone season in the impoverished country.

So far almost $6.5 million has been committed, OCHA said, and a formal request has been sent to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for money to be disbursed.

UN aid agencies are working with the Malagasy Red Cross Society, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help the affected population, ranging from emergency food rations to measures that protect water quality and prevent the spread of diseases.

At least 73 people are confirmed to have been killed from the cyclones, which brought heavy rainfall to most of the island nation but struck the northwest and northeast especially hard. Subsequent floods have reached many heavily populated areas, including the capital, Antananarivo, and important farming areas, such as the Alaotra Mangoro region.