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The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has disclosed that it will use the $8.1 million (approximately K5.9 billion) from the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd) to cover the deficit in the response plan for 2015/2016 hunger crisis.

ARC Ltd is processing an insurance payout to government to support its response to the drought which resulted from poor 2015/2016 agricultural season.

Commissioner for Disaster, Ben Botolo, told the media Wednesday that from the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report, which indicated a total budget response of $395 million to assist the 6.5 million people that are facing hunger, there is a deficit of $25 million for logistics purposes and procurement of other relief food items.

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“On food security, we had all the resources available, a total of $307 million. We may have the gap but as you are aware ARC is giving us insurance, that one again will give us a relief in terms of the budget because we will channel that money towards the purchase of relief food items through National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA),” he said

Botolo said from the existing deficit, there is need for $5.6 million for an advance internal World Food Programme (WFP) loan which was used at the start of the response programme since resources were not yet mobilised

He further said the disaster response process will phase out in March this year and Mvac will assess its efficiency.

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“After March, we expect that things will go a little bit normal but if it does not normalise, we will see and normally Mvac will make the assessment and they will tell us the situation,” he said

Commenting on the matter, Deputy Director for Response and Recovery Dyce Nkhoma said as of December 31 last year, the department had assisted 6.4 million hunger-stricken people with food assistance and cash transfers.

“About 4.8 million people have been assisted in 21 districts with about 150,000 metric tonnes of relief food and 1.6 million people with each household receiving an average of K20,000 per month,” he said

Meanwhile, according to Botolo, the 2016/2017 rainy season has affected 13,160 households in 18 districts with 17 deaths registered so far.

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