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Malawi Appeals for Emergency Aid

March 23, 1989

BLANTRYE, Malawi (AP) _ The government on Thursday appealed for $28.5 million in international aid to rebuild roads, bridges, buildings and water systems damaged this month by floods, an earthquake and a cyclone.

The money was urgently needed for initial damage repairs, and more will be necessary later for emergency food supplies and long-term reconstruction , the state National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee said.

About 115,000 people were left homeless by torrential rain, the earthquake and a cyclone that struck during a 10-day period earlier this month. An unspecified number of people were killed.

About three-fourths of the $28.5 million will be used to rebuild damaged homes and public buildings, and to repair bridges, roads and water systems, said Alfred Upinde, the vice chairman of the disaster commmittee.

Some of the aid will provide blankets, mats and cooking utensils for disaster victims, he told reporters.

Emmanuel Gondwe, the government’s secretary for district administration and rural development, said an international appeal for food will be launched when authorities have assessed the full extent of losses of crops and livestock.

Disaster victims are being fed with emergency food stocks intended for 350,000 people in northern Malawi whose crops were affected by a plant disease, Gondwe said.

The food will soon have to be replenished, he said, and other appeals later will seek aid for long-term rebuilding and replanting in devastated farmlands.

Among the victims are some of the 650,000 refugees who have fled the war in neighboring Mozambique.

On Wednesday, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched a separate appeal in Switzerland for $1.5 million for disaster victims.

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