President Mutharika’s statement on Malawi food situation

President Peter Mutharika made a National Address on the Status of Food Situation in the Country. Nyasa Times reproduce full text the President’s address:

Mutharika: Food situation

Mutharika: Food situation

I have called for this press conference to share with you the current food security situation in the country.

As you know, the 2014/2015 growing season has been one of the worst seasons. You will recall that during this growing season, rains started very late, in mid-December, 2014. From the onset of rains in mid-December, 2014, through to mid-January, 2015, the country received continuous heavy rainfall that led to the worst flooding in living memory.

The floods affected about 1.1 million people. It damaged people’s property and public infrastructure and at least 64 000 hectares of crop fields throughout the country, mostly in the Southern Region. One hundred and one [101] people were killed and 172 people were reported missing.

The magnitude of the floods caused my government to swiftly move in and, as you will recall, I declared a state of national disaster in the 15 most affected districts and I appealed for assistance on 13th January, 2015. The response to my appeal for assistance was commendable. Let me take advantage of this opportunity to thank all the development partners and the entire humanitarian community for the assistance to the flood-affected households that they rendered, and continue to do so.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

Soon after the floods in January, 2015, the season was characterised by intermittent rainfall and prolonged dry spells in most parts of the country. The combination of the delayed onset of rains, the worst floods, the intermittent rainfall and the prolonged dry spells at critical stages of maize development, led to a food deficit of 223 723 metric, for the first time since the introduction of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme.

The Government of Malawi, through the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), carried out a food security assessment exercise from 8thJune to 2ndJuly 2015. The exercise was aimed at assessing the food security situation in the country, and determining the number of people who are likely to be food insecure during the 2015/2016 consumption year.

The results of the assessment show that a total of 2,833,212 people will not be able to meet their annual food requirement during the 2015/16 consumption period. This represents 17 per cent of the country’s total population. The affected population is spread in 25 districts, namely: Chitipa Karonga and Mzimba in the Northern Region; Dedza, Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Mchinji Nkhotakota, Ntcheu and Salima in the Central Region; and Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo and Zomba in the Southern Region.

Although there has been people facing hunger in recent years, the situation this year is the worst in many years. The MVAC report estimates the total humanitarian food that is required to support the affected people to be at 124,183 metric tons of maize equivalence.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

Following the MVAC food insecurity report, the government has developed the 2015/2016 Food Insecurity Response Plan. The response plan requires a total of US$146.378 million.

I would like to assure you that the Malawi Government is ready to support the 2.8 million people facing hunger. In the meantime, the government, using its own resources, has bought 30 000 metric tons of maize from Zambia at the cost of K2.82 billion, and it is in the process of buying additional 26 000 metric tons, at the value of about K3.5 billion. This maize will be used to stabilise the price of the commodity on the market through Admarc across the country. The Strategic Grain Reserve currently has maize in stock and it continues to be replenished. The government is therefore, ready to roll out food relief to food insecure households during the lean period from October, 2015, to March 2016, as recommended by MVAC.

As has always been the case, another MVAC assessment is due in October, 2015. Based on the historical trend, that assessment is likely to show a larger number of people facing hunger than is the case now. In view of this, I would like to appeal to all our development partners, other countries, non-governmental organisations, civil society, the private sector and individuals, both in Malawi and elsewhere, to complement government resources in assisting the food insecure households. Donations can be in cash or in kind.

The 2015/2016 Food Insecurity Response Plan as well as details of the government’s bank account for cash donations can be obtained from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs in the Office of the Vice President.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

I would also like to call upon all stakeholders, including implementing partners who will be involved in the implementation of the response plan, to be accountable in assisting the needy. We need to move together in alleviating the suffering of the food insecure Malawians who are looking forward to government’s support during this difficult time.

Let me take advantage of this opportunity to express my appreciation to development partners and other donors who have so far provided food assistance in response to this year’s food needs.

With these remarks, I thank you very much for your attention.

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11 thoughts on “President Mutharika’s statement on Malawi food situation”

  1. nick says:

    Even Nevin, the British ambassador, seemed to be embarrassed by the way that this president can spend $940,000 on a three-week binge with 121 staffers (stuffers?) in New York while 2.8 million of his own people face starvation at home.
    By the way — would APM have even been able to go to New York without covert assistance from Britain’s Department for International Development? This big aid-agency continues to support the Malawi government and the United Nations. It allows all this to happen whilst also allowing its ambassador in Malawi to make feeble protests about it.

  2. ade says:

    CAN WE HAVE A LIST OF THOSE WHO HAVE ACCOMPANIED THE PRESIDENT TO THE UN

  3. Chamba says:

    Too little too late, just trying to deflate from your trip to the USA with your over bloated entourage!

  4. your honour says:

    thanks for the lovely speech and timely message to the world our president

  5. Chithabwa says:

    I really can’t understand ,going to America with an entrouge of 110+ using hard own forex n yet ur a begger …shame on our beloved country Malawi!!!

  6. MRA STAFF says:

    Can you rig economy too. Mesa ndiwe master of rigging

  7. savimbi says:

    malawi osauka momvetsa chison, koma akutumiza nthumwi 115 ku UK mmalo mwa anthu 6. if we r failing 2 manage the little we have what do u expect. poor malawi with poor leaders

  8. chatonda says:

    But you told the country the other day that NOBODY will die of hunger in this country. Did you mean asking from the well wishers and then pledge to the country that nobody will die of hunger/ I thought you had the means to feed all of us / We observed that you rushed to promise when you had no means. But wait a minute, How can people help you when you waisting money with 111 people traveling to the USA with you with each receiving K6,224,000 EACH? Does it make sense to start begging when you are swimming in big monies like this? Reasoning is required here.

  9. chifundo wa allena says:

    Ndalama agulira chimangazo ndizochepa kwambiri..2billion ndiye wina aziba ma Billion aboma ….

  10. saulos says:

    How can dat reduce de price of maize at market yet that maize u ar buying from zambia cannot even half of pple in malawi? En what propotion do each will buy at admarc interms of kilograms whch can help them till the next season?

  11. Kennedy says:

    Out of all billions mentioned here, how much have you squandered or puted in your private bank? We don’t hate you but we hate the things your doing thats including lies and tribalistic behavour. If you’ve sense of humour you will reintrospect all the nagativities.

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