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Dodma sets aside K74 billion for food response

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By Tiyese Monjeza:

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has rolled out the 2022-23 lean season response programme, where it is distributing food and cash to hunger-stricken families.

Dodma Director of Disaster Response and Recovery Moses Chimphepo said the department will use K74 billion for the exercise to reach out to 3.8 million people after a Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee report indicated that they would be food insecure.

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“Some households will receive K25,000 cash while others will be receiving a 50 kilogramme bag of maize between November 2022 and March 2023. Other districts will only receive relief items for three to four months,” Chimphepo said.

He said the department acquired 76,842 metric tonnes from the National Food Reserve Agency valued at around K27 billion.

‘‘My appeal to beneficiaries is that they should not sell the relief items.

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Local councils should also ensure that only those eligible are benefitting from the programme,” Chimphepo said.

Zomba District Commissioner Smart Gwedemula said the council will closely monitor the distribution exercise.

“We are committed to ensuring that only hunger-stricken families benefit from this initiative,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Asiyatu Asima, described the initiative as timely.

“We did not harvest enough maize; as such, we are happy with the initiative,” she said.

Dodma has since rolled out the exercise in Zomba District, Zomba City, Balaka, Nsanje and Chikwawa districts. Between November this year and January 2023, the initiative will be extended to other districts.

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