Plan International to raise K1.5bn for famine response in Malawi

Plan International Malawi has announced plans to raise US$2 million (approximately K1.5 million) for responding to hunger that has hit some parts of the country.

Businge (c): We will hence leverage from this experience to deliver impactful programmes for children and particularly girls.-Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

Director for Plan International Region of Eastern and Southern Africa (RESA) , Charles Businge, says his organisation will be working with existing government coordination mechanisms and leading development partners to join the rest of the Malawi community to deal with the risk of hunger.

“Plan International is garnering the resources and capacities to respond to this calamity. Our budget for this drive is currently estimated at US$2 million and while we have not yet secured this funding, there are fund raising plans in place that will ensure we secure the required level of funding,” he said.

Businge made the remarks on Tuesday w when he briefed journalists in Lilongwe about what Plan International Malawi has achieved for the last 25 years since the organised established itself in Malawi.

Plan International Malawi has been responding to food insecurity since 2013 through in kind food distribution and cash transfers in partnership with the World Food Programme and Plan International Canada in Dowa (Dzaleka camp), Zomba, Machinga and most recently Mangochi.

Further, PIM also implemented nutrition in emergencies response with support from UNICEF from 2015 to 2017. And during the flood response in 2015 and 2019, PIM also responded to avert the effects of hunger.

“We will hence leverage from this experience to deliver impactful programmes for children and particularly girls. We aware of the findings of the recent Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee report (The MVAC survey, which established that about 1.06 million people have been severely affected by the drought and will require immediate food support,” said.

According to the report, the situation is rated, under the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC), as phase 3 which is a crisis level, affecting especially the Southern Region districts of Balaka, Chikwawa, Neno, Phalombe, Dedza and Nsanje with Karonga district being the only IPC3 district located in the North of the country.

Businge further stated that his organisation is also cognizant of the fact that the recently published 2019 Synthesis Report on the State of Food and Nutrition Security and Vulnerability in Southern Africa warns of severe food insecurity for Southern Africa.

“Cumulative effects of persistent drought conditions compounded by floods pests, economic challenges, poverty and chronic structural issues will render most countries in Southern Africa including Malawi food insecure,” Businge said.

He disclosed that their interventions under the sector will be classified as Disaster Risk Reduction, Humanitarian Response, Agriculture and food Security and of course Economic Empowerment for our young people.

Plan International Malawi has also assured that it will continue to invest in supporting the Government of Malawi strengthen households and community resilience against the social- economic impact of climate change and to break the cycle of food insecurity through our disaster risk management programme.

“We realize that if urgent humanitarian action is not taken to assist communities in desperate need, the situation will get much worse. Meanwhile, we are glad that the Government of Malawi is stepping up its efforts in mitigating the looming hunger crisis by seeking to boost its maize reserves through both local and international suppliers. It is also worth noting that a number of development partners and international NGOs are stepping up their efforts. Together we can make a huge difference. No one deserves to die of hunger.”

Currently,  Plan International recognize that the government has put in place coordination mechanisms and structures to ensure a more coordinated response the organisation says it will continue to be part of these spaces to ensure children and particularly girls are supported through these difficult times.

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