The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has moved in to assist Malawi in the wake of Cyclone Freddy.
The SADC executive Secretary Eliasi Magosi has announced the approval of US$300,000 towards humanitarian assistance to Malawi.
The moves comes barely a week after a number of calls were made for the SADC secretariat and its member states to assist Malawi and Mozambique as they battle the destruction caused by tropical cyclone Freddy.
The two former chairs of the regional bloc have been hit by the deadly cyclone which has overwhelmed the two governments with the extent of damage left in its tracks and growing numbers of displaced households that need relief aid.
Writing online, last week Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Nelson Chamisa expressed concern over the state of things in Malawi’s affected areas and called on SADC to rise to the occasion.
Chamisa said the organisation needs to provide leadership on how the affected countries can deal with the destruction after devastation.
Social media was also awash with such calls and concerns with others calling on SADC to draw lessons from EU’s response to the Turkey earthquake.
Over the weekend the SADC secretariat sent a team to conduct an assessment before they could arrange for a support package.
The Southern African Development Community-SADC is an inter-governmental organization whose goal is to further regional socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 16 countries in southern Africa.
United Nations secretary General Antonio Gueterres earlier gave assurance that UN agencies will enhance support in Malawi.
Over and above Malawi has received overwhelming support from its neighbors such as Tanzania and Zambia who have offered helicopters to help with search and rescue efforts, as well as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana.
Overseas, the UK has also been crucial in providing assistance, with the provision of teams of experts in search and rescue, and doctors that are attending to the injured in various health facilities in hard hit places.
Current figures indicate that 507 people perished while 1,332 suffered various degrees of injuries in floods and mudslides induced by the storm.
Furthermore, 553,614 have been displaced and are mostly sheltered in 543 camps across the southern region.
Meanwhile, search and rescue works are still ongoing with at least some 537 people still missing a week after the disaster hit.