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United Kingdom wants transparency in hunger response

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United Kingdom (UK) has urged, Malawi Government to be transparent on the information surrounding the process of alleviating hunger in the country, if the crisis is to be addressed early.

Department for International Development (DfID) Director for Western and Southern Africa, Keith MacKiggan, said, on Wednesday, that there is need for stakeholders to be aware of what is happening to address the food insecurity.

“We need better coordination of those efforts and we need more transparency, more openness about what each part of that system is doing. At the moment we still don’t know, maize for example, whether is it going to come from within the country or being imported, we do not know what import licenses have been granted,” MacKiggan said.

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He said he has already met Vice President, Saulos Chilima, and is yet to meet the Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, and encourage them to be as transparent as possible with government plans on the matter.

The DfID Director emphasised the need for government to change some of the policies that are not promoting the rural private sector in the fight against hunger crisis.

“There are still policies that government needs to change in order to make sure disaster does not affect all those people and these policies are needed to be changed in the longer term and make sure that this does not happen again in the near future,” he said.

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Meanwhile, UK has increased its humanitarian support to 35 million pounds with an additional of 11 million pounds (approximately K10.4 billion).

DfID says the additional funds will support the distribution of maize through the World Food Programme (WFP).

Malawi currently has a deficit of humanitarian support of about K73 billion.

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