The Directorate of Disaster Response And Recovery

The directorate is responsible for the following projects and activities:

  • 2015/16 MVAC Humanitarian Response Programme

The department is coordinating the implementation of a humanitarian response programme aimed at addressing the food needs of 2,865,602 people that were identified by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) to be in need of food assisance. The programme is being implemented in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), a consortium of international non-governmental organizations (INGO), partner NGOs and targeted district councils. The programme is being implemented in 25 targeted district councils namely; Chitipa, Karonga, Rumphi, Mzimba, Kasungu, Nkhotakota, Dowa, Salima, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Dedza, Ntcheu, Balaka, Mangochi, Machinga, Mwanza, Neno, Blantyre, Zomba, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Thyolo, Chikwawa and Nsanje. The program runs from October, 2015 to April, 2016.

 Under the programme, food insecure households are being targeted with monthly food or cash transfers.  The monthly food package per household comprise: 50 kg bag of maize, 6 kgs of pulses, and 2 litres vegetable oil. Pregnant and lactating mothers and children below 2 years are also being individually targeted with 6 kgs of super cereal per month. The monthly cash transfer value is calculated based on the prevailing prices of the food basket commodities at the local markets.

  • 2015/16 Season Emergency Response Operations

 Since the onset of the 2015/16 rain season, the department has been receiving disaster reports from various councils and has been facilitating the provision of relief assistance to the affected households. The common disasters reported are stormy rains, strong winds, prolonged dry spells and floods.  

  • Contingency Plan for El Nino

 In September, 2015, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services issued the 2015/16 Rainfall Forecast which predicted that he 2015/16 rainy season would be dominated by El Nino which would be characterized by heavy rainfall in some parts of the country, especially in its northern part, and some dry spells, in some parts of the country, especially in the southern half of the country.  On the basis of that weather forecast, the department prepared a Contingency Plan for El Nino with the involvement of all partners in the humanitarian response sector.  The plan was basically for disaster preparedness, mitigation and response, involving a series of activities.  Out of the plan’s budget of K2.4 billion, the Treasury has so far funded a total of K602,459,099 to the National Disaster Appeal Fund (NDAF).  (This includes resources for regular annual funding to NDAF for disaster response during rainy seasons).  The funding was used to procure and distribute relief items as well as prepositioning relief items, search and rescue teams and equipment in flood-prone areas.

  • National Disaster Recovery Framework

Following the outcome of the post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) that the government conducted with the financial support of the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank (WB), the department facilitated the development of the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) which translates recovery and reconstruction needs in the PDNA report into prioritized recovery interventions across sectors and districts. The NDRF is a tool of managing efficient and effective recovery and reconstruction. The Malawi Floods Emergency Recovery Project (MFERP) is part of the implementation of the NDRF. 

  • Malawi Floods Emergency Recovery Project

The MFERP is a 4-year World Bank funded project which is primarily focusing on the sustainable restoration of agricultural livelihoods, enhanced food security, resilient reconstruction of critical public infrastructure, restoration of services, and investments in longer-term risk reduction following the January, 2015, floods. The selection of interventions and the corresponding resource allocation under the MFERP is based on the principle of “building back better” and maintaining “proportionality” with the impact and needs quantified under the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). The project is focusing on 15 districts that were heavily impacted by the floods namely; Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Zomba, Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mulanje, Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Salima, Rumphi and Karonga.

The department plays a very critical role in the implementation of the project by providing advice on a programmatic, cross-sectoral framework of recovery interventions. DoDMA also plays an advisory role in guiding the PIU in the development and implementation of a Recovery Framework that will help towards coordinating and planning floods recovery in an integrated and cohesive manner. The department further serves as a convening forum and repository for multi-sector and programmatic recovery planning.

 The project has the following four component:

  • Component 1: Livelihoods Restoration and Food Security;
  • Component 2: Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Reconstruction;
  • Component 3: Promoting Disaster Resilience; and
  • Component 4: Program Management.

 The Department of Disaster Management Affairs is responsible for the implementation of Component 3 – Promoting Disaster Resilience, over and above its advisory role and overall coordination of the whole project. The component has two subcomponents as summarized below.

Sub-Component 3.1: Institutional Strengthening of DoDMA:

This sub-component will provide technical assistance to strengthen the institutional set-up and operational capacities of DoDMA for post-disaster response and recovery. In addition, it will also study the economic viability of the rehabilitation of the railway lines, which were severely damaged by the floods. This sub-component will include:

  • Improving data preparedness and capacity development for PDNA;
  • Strengthening recovery planning and implementation;
  • Developing community mapping and improve land use planning; and
  • Enhancing disaster response systems. 

Sub-Component 3.2: Multi-sector Design of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure:

 This sub-component will provide technical assistance to different departments and ministries for the development and institutionalization of disaster and climate-resilient design standards for infrastructure construction in the future. This shall include the design of roads, drainage infrastructure and public buildings, such as schools, health centers and government offices. The sub-component will also provide technical assistance for:

  • a review and strengthening of guidelines for safer housing;
  • the development of an awareness raising strategy in respect of the use of safer housing construction guidelines;
  • the development of national building codes and standards for private housing; and
  • carrying out a study to assess the viability of railways rehabilitation.