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Economists: hard times ahead for Malawi following deadly flooding

Flooding in Malawi. United Nations Development Programme, Creative Commons: 2015

Flooding in Malawi. United Nations Development Programme, Creative Commons: 2015

An “economic disaster” is ahead for Malawi as a result of devastating flooding, economists warn.

Torrential rains have taken over Malawi for the last couple weeks, leaving 48 people dead, and 70,000 people homeless.

Malawi’s agricultural sector, which accounts for one third of the country GDP, will be heavily impacted by the floods. According to the United Nations’ resident coordinator, up to 638,000 people are already affected by damages to local crops.

Earlier this month, Malawi’s government declared half the country a disaster zone, pleading for further international support to help the country emerge from this humanitarian crisis. According to Malawi President Peter Mutharika, $81 million will be needed in order to provide adequate food, shelter and other forms of aid.

“It is estimated that 69,995 people have been displaced by the floods and 48 people have lost their lives,” said President Peter Mutharika. “The floods have also damaged a lot of hectares of crops, washed away livestock, and damaged infrastructure such as roads and bridges.”

ActionAid reports that Malawi is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, mostly due to intense rainfall, changing rainfall patterns, floods, droughts and prolonged dry spells.

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