Ireland donates US$1.3 to Malawi to address hunger problem

The government of Malawi has received a donation of US$1.3 million for Ireland to help the country in addressing hunger crisis.

Irish Ambassador Liz Higgins says,:“The Government of Ireland has been monitoring the humanitarian situation, and, recognising the increased need, provides this additional support to the government’s planned MVAC response. This support is consistent with our focus on addressing the Malawi food security challenge and follows an earlier contribution of the same amount to restock the strategic grain reserve.”

The donation is expected to benefit 250,000 families.

The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) recently found more districts suffering from hunger. There is now 1.85 million people in Malawi needing food aid through March.

People waiting to buy maize at Admarc depot

The country has recently experienced drought and reduced food harvests. The Famine Early Warning System says that Malawi could experience “Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the north, south, and central regions during the January to March 2014 period.”

WFP Representative Coco Ushiyama says, “We appreciate the support from the Irish Government to our relief and refugee operations in Malawi. Their contributions are vital for families whose harvests were meagre and also to refugees. We have experienced a drop in funding for long-standing refugee operations such as this one in Malawi.”

The Ireland donation will be used, where possible, to buy food from farmers in Malawi.

This Purchase for Progress initiative, run by WFP, helps boost incomes for local farmers and costs less to transport food to the hungry.

In April, there were reports that 30 000 metric tons of maize that could be used now went bad in the grain reserves in Lilongwe. The opposition and civil society are demanding answers from government.

According to the Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet), the problem that caused the maize to rot at the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) silos in Lilongwe was first noticed three years ago under the DPP rule.

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