UN allocates 8.5 mln USD for cyclone victims in Madagascar

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UNITED NATIONS, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Wednesday allocated 8.5 million U.S. dollars to aid 335,000 people in the worst-hit areas of storm-battered Madagascar, UN humanitarians said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it is working with the government to continue to aid the island nation's southeast, which was hit by cyclones earlier this year and last year.

"We launched humanitarian projects to support 335,000 people in the most vulnerable areas," OCHA said. "These projects have been made possible by an 8.5 million U.S. dollar allocation from our Central Emergency Response Fund, which allows us to tackle crises outside of the global spotlight."

The humanitarian office said that back-to-back emergencies hit the communities targeted by the projects.

In January, tropical storm Cheneso hit Madagascar.

Surprisingly, after traveling the breadth of the Indian Ocean, Cyclone Freddy slammed into the country's southeast, crossing the Mozambique Channel to hit the mainland of Africa only to double back across the strait to strike Madagascar a second time.

Last year, tropical cyclones Batsirai and Emnati hit Madagascar.

More than 870,000 people in Madagascar need support in the regions impacted by the storms, OCHA said.

"This year, in support of the government, we have already reached 439,000 people with food, clean water, sanitation and hygiene support," the humanitarian office said.

OCHA also reported that the earlier 215 million U.S. dollar Flash Appeal for Madagascar is only 23 percent funded. Enditem

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