Malawi is expected to use a total of $64.4 million (about K48.6 billion) to implement the Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Programme which seeks to feed 2.6 million hungry Malawians throughout the lean period.
The government, World Food Programme and other development partners indicate, in a joint statement, that a total of $50.2 million (about K37.8 billion) has been made available, leaving a gap of $14.2 million (about K10.8 billion).
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs has since appealed to partners, including the private sector, to technically and financially support implementation of the programme.
The response programme is aligned with the National Covid Response Plan and anchored in the National Resilience Strategy, which aims to tackle root causes of food and nutrition insecurity such as over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture and lack of crop diversification.
Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs James Chiusiwa said increasing cases of climatic shocks dampened food security prospects.
He, however, said the government was better prepared for such eventualities.
“The government is committed to helping vulnerable households mitigate, manage and recover from the impacts of these shocks,” Chiusiwa said.
Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee has determined that 2.6 million people would require assistance during the 2020/21 lean season.
This population includes households from rural areas which experienced low levels of crop production, as well as people in urban areas who experienced the loss of income due to the economic effects of the Covid pandemic.
Meanwhile, WFP Malawi Country Director Benoit Thiry has thanked the international community for supporting the response programme.
“The support we received will help the Government of Malawi to reach some of the country’s most vulnerable people, who risk slipping further into hunger,” Thiry said.
With resources mobilised both by the government, development partners— under the Joint SDG Fund, as well as the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States— the response started in December 2020 and will run until March 2021.
The government has, so far, allocated 30,000 metric tonnes of maize from the Strategic Grain Reserves to the programme while WFP will provide cash handouts so that people can buy food in local markets.