Malawi government in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday launched what they call a lean season relief operation to meet the food and nutrition needs vulnerable people affected by low household crop production and high food prices.
The launching ceremony took place at Chilangoma Primary School, Traditional Authority Kuntaja in Blantyre district.
Nearly 700,000 people will need food assistance from December 2014 until the next crop harvest, according to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report in released in November.
The Committee comprises Malawi government, UN agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and development partners.
The MVAC showed that while there was an overall production improvement this year, leading to a modest maize surplus at national level, the country’s pockets are still unable to meet their basic food needs due to prolonged dry spells and flooding that diminished household production.
According to MVAC, access to food has been further limited by maize prices that remain about 30 percent higher than the five-year average.
Last lean period, 1.85 million people needed food assistance in 24 out of the 28 districts. This lean season 20 districts will be affected by food insecurity.
“WFP is working with the government and partners to meet the immediate food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable, as well as to address the underlying drivers of food and nutrition insecurity.
“We’re doing this by linking relief to longer-term resilience and safety net programmes, investing in innovations and strengthening partnerships,” said WFP Acting Country Director Baton Osmani.
Under the coordination of the government, WFP and its partners aim to reach 62 percent of the vulnerable population, or up to 429,000 people in 16 of the affected districts with monthly food distributions (maize, pulses and vegetable oil) and monthly cash transfers from December 2014 to March2015.
Secretary and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Paul Chiunguzeni said Malawi government is grateful UN agencies and its partners for coming to the rescue of government in alleviating the suffering of the vulnerable people.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :