Malawi should start receiving food aid and other relief items after five powerful international NGOs backed President Peter Mutharika’s decision to declare a state of national disaster following persist food shortages in many pockets of the country.
Oxfam, Concern Universal, Concern Worldwide, Save the children and Goal Malawi say in a statement Mutharika’s declaration is the much needed acknowledgement of the problem.
“The statement should send a strong signal to donors to act quickly. International community should act swiftly and decisively on the government’s declaration of emergency where people are facing worsening hunger because of El Nino related drought and nationwide crop failure,” reads the statement in part signed by John Makina, country director of Oxfam.
The groups say Malawians should not have to go to bed hungry every night.
“All of us, government, NGOs and international donors need to work together to ensure everyone has access to enough food for themselves and their families” says Makina.
President Mutharika on Wednesday said there is now enough maize in all Admarc depots but the reality on the ground shows that accessing maize in Admarc depots in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu is still a hussle as traders continue to sell the grain at very high prices despite the fact that this is a harvesting period.
Government says it is expected that Malawi will have 2.4 million tonnes of maize this year out of the 3 million metric tonnes needed, saying this year food shortage will be worse than last year when Malawi had 2.7 million metric tonnes.
Mozambique has issued a red alert on Wednesday on hunger whilst rich South Africa says it is experiencing the worst food shortages in recent memory.