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Malawi Facing Worst Food Crisis in Decades
By admin October 1, 2015

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned on September 25th that “More than 2.8 million people will face hunger in the coming months in the worst food crisis in a decade in Malawi, where a staggering four out of every 10 children suffer from stunting.”

Malawi located in southern Africa with an estimated population of 16.3 million people, is bordered by Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Malawi’s economy has been improving in recent years, but it still faces extreme poverty with more than 50% of the population living below the poverty line, as well as a high HIV/AIDS infection rate. Last year, Britain, Malawi’s biggest donor, froze 92 million pounds worth of aid after the “cashgate” scandal, in which around 100 civil servants, politicians and businesspeople looted more than $100 million from government coffers. The Department for International Development  (DfID), as well as other donors including the EU and Norway, suspended aid that goes directly to the Malawian government for the same reason.

President Peter Mutharika made a National Address on the Status of the Food Situation of Malawi and appealed for international help to cope with food shortages. According to the address, the 2014/15 growing season has been one of the worst seasons in recent years. Plus earlier this year, Malawi received heavy rainfall, which led to the worst floods in living memory of the country. One hundred and one people were killed during the flood and 172 people were reported missing. The floods affected about 1.1 million people, and at least 64,000 hectares of crop fields, mostly in the Southern Region. President Mutharika said people in 25 of the country’s 28 districts are at risk of hunger, and Malawi needs about $150 million to attend to those in need of food assistance. Meanwhile, the Malawi-Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) will release an updated National Food Assessment in mid-October.

Cost of Hunger in Africa, recently estimated that stunting costs Malawi nearly $600 million annually. The WFP also noted that it is important to save children’s lives and prevent worsening under-nutrition, particularly stunting among children, which could limit cognitive development, and has far-reaching effects on health and productivity over the lifetime of the child. Since the end of 2014, WFP has provided relief assistance to households that were affected by rainfall and flooding. WFP’s operation has reached more than one million vulnerable people in Malawi, but additional contributions are urgently needed.

The United States Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, announced a donation of US$15.7 million worth of food and other commodities earlier this month to assist people in need of humanitarian food assistance. Currently, WFP is making final arrangements and logistics to bring relief food courtesy of the US government. To ensure the availability of food for Malawian people, more aid is needed. Other than fund, more humanitarian support is also necessary to restore Malawi’s food security, nutrition and livelihoods.

 

Read More:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201509270096.html

http://allafrica.com/stories/201509231161.html

http://www.voanews.com/content/malawi-president-appeals-for-international-food-aid/2975011.html

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=51967#.VgsCvBNVikp

http://allafrica.com/stories/201509260018.html

http://thp.org/our-work/where-we-work/africa/malawi/


Thanks for sharing !


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