Malawi's President sought international assistance to address what he referred to as "a national tragedy"

India has extended humanitarian assistance to Malawi after Tropical Cyclone Freddy hit the country on March 11, 2023, causing widespread devastation.

The first consignment was airlifted on March 23, 2023 and handed over to the Government of Malawi on March 26, 2023, India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday (July 28, 2023).

This comprised immediate disaster relief items like blankets, tarpaulins, milk powder and essential medicines, weighing approximately 12 tons. Since then, four more consignments have been sent to Malawi, comprising approximately 165 tons of medicines and other essential items to contribute to the disaster management efforts of the Government of Malawi, the MEA added.

This was in response to a plea by Malawi's President plea on March 15, 2023 for international assistance in addressing what he called "a national tragedy". The devastating impact of Cyclone Freddy in the southeast African country caused extensive flooding and mudslides, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives.

The second consignment consisted of essential and anti-cancer medicines, which were handed over to Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda by S Gopalakrishnan on July 5, 2023. The third and fourth consignments included food, shelter, and other essential items.

This assistance to Malawi has been extended in keeping with India’s civilizational philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam', in the spirit of South-South Cooperation and the commitment to keep Africa on top of the country’s priorities as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India stands ready to provide assistance to all friendly countries in their hour of need and this assistance cements our close bonds with Malawi in its time of crisis, the MEA noted.

Prime Minister Modi had earlier expressed his condolences in a tweet stating, “Distressed by the devastation due to Cyclone Freddy in Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar. Condolences to President LAZARUSCHAKWERA, President Filipe Nyusi and President SE Rajoelina. Bereaved families and those affected by the cyclone. India stands with you in this tough time”.

India's humanitarian assistance to Malawi is a testament to its commitment to helping friendly countries in their hour of need, and it cements the close bonds between India and Malawi. It is worth noting that health is one of the important areas of cooperation between India and Malawi. In recent years, India has provided essential medicines worth USD 3 Mn, 10 ambulances and 50,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Malawi besides gifting medical equipments such as mammography, ultra-sound machines and Bhabhatron cancer treating machines.