UN releases emergency fund for cyclone response in Madagascar

United Nations: UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths has allocated $2.5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to ramp up the humanitarian response to tropical cyclone Batsirai in Madagascar, said a spokesman.

The funding will enable the UN to provide drinking water and food, shelter items and basic household goods, health care services, assistance to survivors of gender-based violence, and other services, as well as to schools and logistics support, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

More than 270,000 people urgently need shelter, water and sanitation, education, health services and immediate food assistance, according to the result of a joint rapid needs assessment carried out by the government and humanitarian partners, reports Xinhua news agency.

Around 21,000 people are displaced and over 20,000 homes have been destroyed, flooded, or damaged. Many schools and health facilities remain closed or are partially functional, said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Dumako made landfall on the northeast coast of Madagascar on Tuesday, directly affecting over 5,000 people.

The government and humanitarian partners are closely following the trajectory of yet another tropical storm, Emnati, which has formed in the Indian Ocean and could hit the east coast of Madagascar early next week, he said.

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