Under-five children are at a higher risk of becoming malnourished in the aftermath of the heavy rains and consequent floods that affected about 15 districts across Malawi due to Cyclone Idai.
The status quo of children in these areas was uncovered through a needs assessment exercise conducted by YONECO, with support from UNICEF.
The assessment targeted 66 camps across 6 districts namely; Nsanje, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Phalombe, Machinga and Zomba.
According to the assessment, children under the age of five are at risk of malnutrition due to the shortage of food and lack of a balanced diet in most of the camps.
In addition to this, a number of parents voiced out concern that their children – both below and above five years – also run the risk of suffering from Malaria due to insufficient mosquito nets in the camps.
YONECO conducted the needs assessment exercise in the first week of April in preparation for launch of UNICEF-funded project in the 6 districts affected by floods.
The main aim of the project is to strengthen community based Complaints and Feedback Mechanisms (CFM), as well as referrals to protection services. The intervention will pay special attention to issues pertaining to child protection and Gender Based Violence (GBV).
More than 868,000 people have been affected, including more than 86,000 displaced, with 59 deaths and 577 injuries recorded according to the Government.