By Yohane Symon:
The government has said it is looking for about K34 billion to go towards food response.
Over one million Malawians are at risk of facing acute hunger between the lean period from this month to March next year.
Vice President Everton Chimulirenji made the remarks in Machinga yesterday when he launched the 2019/2020 lean season food insecurity response plan and the National Disaster Recovery Framework.
To respond to the affected people, Chimulirenji said the government needs about K38.8 billon to buy food stuffs and other items.
“However, about K4 billion of the required money has already been pledged meaning that we remain with a lot of money to be sourced. But let me assure you that the government is committed to ensure that all the affected people are assisted between now and March next year,” he said.
On the National Disaster Recovery Framework, Chimulirenji called for the need for all stakeholders to do a soul searching exercise to find out if Malawi is doing enough to build a resilient nation.
He expressed concern that government and development partners continue to spend a lot of money in supporting people who are affected by disasters every year.
“We need to ask ourselves tough questions. Are we building strong schools for our children? Are we constructing strong houses for our safety? Are we constructing strong roads that can help reduce flooding? What you must know is that disasters will not stop to occur, but we need to find ways of being more resilient,” he said.
Following this year’s cyclone Idai which killed about 60 people in Malawi, Chimulirenji said the government is still in need of about K436 billion out of the required K508 billion which was earmarked to help the country to fully recover from the effects of the cyclone.
In his remarks, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni said although there is a deficit in terms of the required resources for the lean period, his department has some food items which it can start distributing to the affected people while waiting for additional funds.