Brazil has pledged to send a total of 407 metric tons of beans to Malawi as a support to vulnerable Malawians who are experiencing hunger this lean season from Oct-March.
This is the first Brazilian contribution to the humanitarian response in Malawi since the opening of the Embassy of Brazil in Lilongwe two years ago.
The donation to be distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP) is expected to reach 224,000 food insecure people for one month as part of a balanced food basket which also includes maize and fortified vegetable oil.
The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) July report says more than 2.8 million people will need assistance to meet their food requirements during the 2015/16 lean season largely because of floods and dry spells in 2015.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, which took place at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) offices, at Capital Hill, in Lilongwe, the Ambassador of Brazil, Gustavo Martins Nogueira, said the Brazilian people are ready to assist Malawians in time of crisis.
“We took heed of President Mutharika’s appeal for assistance. The Government of Malawi can count on Brazil for support in its efforts towards food security and economic development,” said Ambassador Nogueira.
With the contribution from Brazil coming as an in-kind donation, the three partners – the Governments of Malawi and Brazil and WFP – successfully advocated for private sector support to cover the required costs of transporting the tonnage from Brazil, as well as storing, transporting and distributing the beans to the people in need in Malawi.
Principal Secretary and Commissioner for DoDMA, Bernard Sande, said the donation demonstrates the cordial relationship between their two governments.
“In view of the ongoing hunger problem, this donation will go a long way in helping to alleviate hunger. We are grateful to the Government of Brazil for this assistance and appreciative of the logistical assistance that WFP constantly provides. We couldn’t have done this alone,” he said.
Over the past five years, Brazil has contributed some US$55 million to WFP emergency operations globally. The donation of beans follows a tripartite agreement on humanitarian assistance which Brazil signed with Malawi government and the WFP on October 8.
WFP Representative Coco Ushiyama said the signing of the agreement was a momentous day for both WFP and Malawi, and that she looks forward to continuing to grow the partnership with Brazil.
“This year is a difficult year, but WFP will continue to work towards not just providing food assistance in times of need, but working towards ensuring that Malawians eventually become resilient to climate shocks and can eventually break the cycle of poverty. Getting to zero hunger is possible,” said Ushiyama.
In addition to this contribution from Brazil, WFP has also received contributions from the Government of Malawi’s Strategic Grain Reserve, the United States, the United Kingdom, ECHO and Italy. These contributions have enabled the timely start to assistance, with in-kind food assistance having started on 1 October and cash-based assistance starting on 9 October.
However, some US$76 million is still urgently needed to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable until the next harvest in March 2016. There are concerns that the number of people facing food insecurity and the amount of resources required to respond may increase as the lean season progresses and as the country braces for the effects of an El Nino weather phenomenon in the coming months.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :