Friend indeed! Britain is the first donor to contribute $4.7 million (2.9 million pounds) to Malawi for food aid as the country needs $48 million to feed than 1.6 million people face food shortage.
The UN’s World Food Programme said Tuesday about 11 percent of Malawi’s population who will face hunger due to bad crops and that the country needs $48 million in food aid .
“It is estimated that those needing food assistance in the southern African country will rise to 1.6 million people during the peak of the lean season early next year,” the WFP said in a joint statement with Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Britain became the first donor to give Malawi money for food aid through DFID.
“We are conscious that many people are struggling due to the poor harvest and high prices in some parts of the country and are committed to supporting the government’s efforts to ensure no one goes hungry,” said Sarah Sanyahumbi, head of DFID in Malawi.
WFP country director Abdoulaye Diop said he hoped “other donors will follow the example” of Britain to chip in their support.
The current food shortage in Malawi has been blamed on “prolonged dry spells, high food prices and economic difficulties.”
The government of Malawi has since pledged 25,000 metric tonnes of maize.
Malawi’s economy was driven to the brink of collapse after foreign aid dried up over concerns about the human rights record of former President Bingu wa Mutharika.
New President Joyce Banda, who came to office in April after Mutharika died of a heart attack, has moved swiftly to woo back donors, whose support previously accounted for about 40 percent of the budget.
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