Race against time to save Malawians from hunger
From MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
BLANTYRE, (CAJ News) – GOVERNMENT and relief agencies are scaling up operations to reach 5,8 million Malawians of the estimated 6,5 million people expected to require food assistance during the peak of the lean season.
The Southern African country is among the worst hit by drought in the region, having hit by two years of successive unfavourable weather conditions.
This is a result of the most intense El Niño weather event in decades.
Widespread crop failure has led to a second consecutive national maize deficit and the worst food insecurity in living memory.
It is estimated that 40 percent of the population will need humanitarian food assistance by the peak of the lean season during the early months of 2017.
WFP requires US$100 million to fully meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Malawi till March 2017.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is importing 55 000 tonnes of maize, thanks to a major contribution of nearly US$22 million (R298 million) from the government.
The maize will meet the needs of up to 4.7 million people in drought-affected areas of Malawi over the coming months.
WFP Acting Country Director, Mietek Maj, said government’s contribution would provide a critical boost to maize supply, which had been uncertain for the past few months.
WFP is currently reaching more than one million people in three districts of Malawi with food assistance and, in areas with functioning markets, with cash-based transfers for people to purchase food.
– CAJ News
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