Madagascar: UN agencies distribute more aid following deadly cyclone

Madagascar: UN agencies distribute more aid following deadly cyclone

A Malagasy family walks in search of shelter from Cyclone Ivan
United Nations agencies are stepping up their efforts to bring relief in Madagascar, where more than 190,000 people are homeless, at least 93 people have died and tens of thousands of hectares of ricefields have been flooded in the wake of a cyclone last month.

Almost 335,000 Malagasy have been affected by Cyclone Ivan, which struck the island nation on 17 February, bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 200 kilometres per hour, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is providing medicines for 9,000 people and diarrhoea treatments for another 6,000, and is also supplying blankets and mosquito nets to needy households.

In addition, the agency has distributed hygiene kits – containing cups, jerry cans, buckets, soap, tanks, water purifiers, mobile latrines and other items – to some 7,000 households and intends to distribute 29,000 more kits in the coming days.

The World Food Programme (WFP) and its non-governmental organization (NGO) partners have already distributed three tons of enriched flour and high-energy biscuits to 2,000 people living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), and plan to give out about 22 tons of vegetables to 11,000 people over the next two weeks.

UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations have already appealed for more than $36 million to provide relief across Madagascar, which is prone to cyclones, particularly at this time of the year. Local authorities have said that Cyclone Ivan was the worst storm of its kind to hit the country since the 1980s.