Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) has said over 8.7 million Malawians would require food assistance across the country in the event of a lockdown.
CfSC says this in a statement in response to the government’s plan to effect a lockdown as a preventive measure to further spread of the coronavirus.
This, however, comes after the Human Rights Defenders Coalition obtained an injunction to stop the lockdown which was expected to start on Saturday midnight.
In the statement, CfSC said over 8.7 million Malawians live below the poverty line and survive on-hand-to-mouth basis.
It further said people living in urban areas require K100, 000 a month for food despite a government set minimum wage of K35, 000.
“With the impending lockdown, CfSC recommends that the government to should consider supplying food to poor Malawians who comprises over 50 percent of the population,” reads part of the statement.
Speaking in an interview, CfSC Programmes Officer for Economic Governance, Bernard Mphepo, said the government should reduce “unnecessary expenditures” to use the funds saved in fighting the pandemic.
“The government should put practical strategies to support markets for crop produce especially for smallholder farmers. The lockdown must not give room for unscrupulous traders,” Mphepo said.
President Peter Mutharika announced on Tuesday last week that the country would go on a 21 day lockdown which saw demonstrations in cities and urban centers in protest against the decision.