Britain will provide £20 million (about K10.4 billion)to Malawi to alleviate the “looming food crisis”.
International development minister Lynne Featherstone, who met Malawi President Joyce Banda on Thursday in the capital Lilongwe, said the funds would “save countless lives” as maize stocks have fallen to just a quarter of the annual average.
The money will support the World Food Programme and other international organisations in providing nearly half a million people with food and cash transfers, school meals for 800,000 schoolchildren and treatment for 18,000 malnourished children and pregnant women, the Department for International Development (DfID) said.
President Banda said her government had always cherished the UK government’s responsiveness to our request for support and was grateful for this assistance.
“This support will go a long way in protecting the livelihoods of vulnerable Malawians who are likely going to miss their food entitlements due to food insecurity at household level. This support complements my government’s efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition in Malawi,” said Banda.
Minister of Finance, Dr Ken Lipenga also hailed UK government for the support tendered to the Malawi government in the areas of HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence.
He said the UK government has portrayed itself that it intends to continue to stay the course of improving the country’s economic status.
Meanwhile, UK will also assist Zimbabwe to tackle hunger.
Ms Featherstone said: “Countries across Southern Africa are facing disaster as a looming food crisis threatens to leave millions hungry.
“British support will save countless lives in two of the worst-affected countries in the region, ensuring the most vulnerable people in Malawi and Zimbabwe are not forgotten as the crisis worsens.”