Emergency relief for Malawi

Funding to provide food, shelter and healthcare in wake of Tropical Cyclone Freddy.

Two charities will each receive £200,000 from the Scottish Government for emergency relief projects in Malawi, after the country was hit by severe flooding following a record-breaking cyclone in March.

More than 500 people were killed and over 500,000 displaced as a result of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which struck even as Malawi was dealing with the deadliest cholera outbreak in the country’s recorded history.

The funds being given to Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and Save the Children International will be used to provide food, shelter and improved access to water, sanitation and healthcare for those affected by the cyclone.

International Development Minister Christina McKelvie said:

“The loss of life and the substantial damage to thousands of people’s homes and livelihoods in Malawi is devastating particularly at a time when the country is facing a severe cholera outbreak. 

“Scotland has a longstanding relationship with Malawi and our ability to fund this humanitarian response is a good example of the role and importance of the Scottish Government’s strong international relationships.”

Head of Save the Children Scotland Claire Telfer said: 

“This support from the Scottish Government will make a big difference to the children and families we work with in Malawi, as they come to terms with the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy and try to piece their lives back together. 

“With more than 100,000 households in Malawi displaced by the cyclone, there’s a critical need for food, water and sanitation facilities, which our teams are working to provide. Children are also at risk of water-borne disease, particularly as Malawi was already experiencing a serious cholera outbreak. 

“Save the Children will use these funds to support thousands of families displaced by the cyclone through cash transfers, nutritional support targeted at pregnant women and new mothers, and water, sanitation and hygiene support in the areas worst affected." 

Chief Executive of SCIAF Alistair Dutton said:

“Once again the Scottish Government has stepped up and responded at a time of need for the people of Malawi. 

“On a visit in January, we could see the difference made by previous funding from the Scottish Government in response to Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe which struck in 2022. Working through our partners, the funds were used to help communities prepare and protect themselves against further weather events. This included flood defences such as dykes and channels. Just weeks later Cyclone Freddy struck, testing these defences to the limit.

“This latest cyclone brought devastation to much of southern Malawi in March and we are very grateful for this further funding which will be used to relieve some of the suffering the cyclone caused. Access to water, sanitation and health services as well as food and shelter are our priorities as we work with our partners in the wake of this catastrophe."


The £400,000 in support for Malawi was awarded through the Humanitarian Emergency Panel from the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund.

The funding was announced on 23 March by the then First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in a letter to President Chakwera conveying expressions of condolences for the tragic loss of life.

In January 2023 the Scottish Government re-allocated £236,137 of existing funding from its partnership with UNICEF UK, to support UNICEF Malawi’s work with the Malawi Government in response to the cholera crisis.


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