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Government to disburse K5.3 billion to food insecure households

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WEATHER—Mtilatila

The National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) is set to pay out a sum of K5.3 billion to households that were affected by droughts in the 2022- 23 farming season in Ntcheu, Blantyre and Thyolo.

The programme is being implemented by the government through Scalable Mechanism with financial support from the World Bank. It is aimed at supporting ultra-poor households to source food during the lean season.

Scalable Mechanism Coordinator Mulder Mkutumula told The Daily Times that a total of 75, 000 people would benefit by receiving K23,000 each per month until November this year.

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He said this has been done following the parametric triggers that were set up to monitor and predict drought in the three piloted districts.

“We are also looking at the issue of skyrocketing prices of maize on the market due to shortage of fuel and food security in those districts.

“The mechanism allows us to provide funds to the most vulnerable communities. So, those are the beneficiaries that were already pre-designed to receive the K23, 000 per month for three months,” Mkutumula said.

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The exercise targets 18,694 households in Blantyre, 29, 598 in Thyolo and 26, 346 households in Ntcheu.

Earlier this month, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) indicated that it had secured K76.27 billion to help 3.8 million people that are to face hunger this year in 27 districts.

The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee conducted an assessment which projected that 3.8 million people in 27 districts and four cities of the country will be food insecure during the 2022-23 lean season, specifically from November 2022 to March 2023.

Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Charles Kalemba told journalists in Lilongwe that some people will be receiving K25,000 while others will be getting a 50 kilogramme bag of maize from November to March 2023.

“The country has enough maize to support the implementation of the programme from November 2022 to the next harvesting season.

“In terms of long-term plans, the department is working with various stakeholders to break the food insecurity cycle through enhancing irrigation and winter cropping in flood-prone areas, and achieve food security at household, community and national levels,” Kalemba said.

Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services Director Lucy Mtilatila said, during the period October to December 2022, normal to above-normal total rainfall amounts are expected over most areas of the country.

However, she said there is a high chance of below normal rainfall amounts in the month of December mainly over the central and northern areas of Malawi.

“The forecast implies that, during the 2022-23 rainfall season, there is a high chance of many parts of the country receiving good rainfall amount,” Mtilatila said.

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