Skip to main content
European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article19 March 2023Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)

Southern Africa and Indian Ocean: EU allocates €2.5 million in emergency aid in the aftermath of cyclone Freddy

Tropical cyclone damage in Madagascar
Mananjary in Madagascar faced the full force of the tropical cyclone last year
© European Union, 2022 (photographer: Mathias Eick)

The Commission announced today emergency funding of €2.5 million in humanitarian aid for Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique, the 3 countries of the region that suffered the most damage from the 2 passages of tropical storm Freddy in February and March 2023.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, who visited Madagascar on 7-9 March 2023, stressed: “The EU remains firmly on the side of the populations of Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique, as they struggle to recover from the damage inflicted by tropical storm/cyclone Freddy – the longest-lasting tropical storm ever recorded. Climate change is real – and we are seeing its devastating results in the southern Africa-Indian ocean region. With our support, our humanitarian partners on the ground will be able to deliver life-saving aid quickly and efficiently, alleviating the suffering of thousands. A new air support operation, set up in Madagascar this year, will also help our partners deliver aid as quickly as possible.”

Of the €2.5 million, €1.3 million are allocated to Mozambique, €700,000 to Malawi and €500,000 to Madagascar. This funding comes on top of the humanitarian funding of €50 million for the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region for 2023.

Emergency funding was also provided to Madagascar and Mozambique after the countries were first struck by tropical cyclone Freddy in February 2023. A new air support operation in Madagascar, funded by the EU with €1.2 million, will help humanitarian actors to reach communities affected by the flooding. 

The new funding will be allocated to partners working mainly in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector but also on food assistance, protection, emergency shelter and non-food items and logistics, following the strong winds and floods in the region. This support will alleviate the human suffering of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in need of humanitarian assistance.

The situation is aggravated by a cholera epidemic in the region, affecting especially Malawi and Mozambique, which can only be expected to deteriorate due to lack of clean water and of adequate sanitation facilities. 


The Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region is prone to disasters induced by natural hazards – exacerbated by the impact of climate change, environmental degradation and poor natural resources’ management - and human-induced hazards caused by armed conflict and violence. Tropical storms and cyclones, floods, droughts and epidemics occur often, rendering the region highly vulnerable to these risks. 

In the beginning of 2023, Madagascar suffered damage after the passage of tropical cyclone Cheneso. Tropical cyclone Freddy, which struck the region in February and March 2023, resulted in extensive damage in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique. The death toll in Malawi has already exceeded 300, while more than 200 people are missing.

In Mozambique, destruction was mainly due to rainfall, aggravating the ongoing cholera outbreak. Cholera cases have been increasing in the areas affected by the floods, which received 4-6 times more water than what is normal for the rainy season. 

Malawi is currently experiencing its worst cholera outbreak ever. In response, the EU allocated emergency humanitarian funding of €2.64 million to the country. This funding support is geared towards the procurement of essential supplies for treatment and is supporting health and emergency water and sanitation services. The current floods affecting Malawi are among the most serious ever since 1967, when records began.