United States Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer has announced an additional donation of US$27 million (20 billion kwacha) of food assistance from the US Government to support vulnerable, food insecure communities in Malawi.
In a media statement emailed to Nyasa Times from the US Embassy to Malawi, Palmer announced the donation following the discussions she had with President Professor Peter Mutharika.
The statement reads that this has brought the United States’ total contribution to the humanitarian response to US$55 million (MK41 billion), 44 percent of the total US$123.6 million (MK92.7 billion) needed to provide a monthly food or cash ration to the 2.8 million Malawians in need of humanitarian assistance between October 2015 and April 2016.
It reads that as with its previous donations, the US has channeled its latest contribution through United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
The donation comprises of Sorghum (US$16 million), Transportation for 18,000 metric tons of maize provided for the Government of Malawi’s Strategic Grain Reserve (US$4.9 million), maize (US$4 million), beans (US$900,000) and a special corn-soya blend for babies and pregnant women (US$200,000).
“The support will fill some immediate needs while also supporting preparations for the next humanitarian response. The maize, beans and corn-soya blend will be purchased from within Malawi or the Southern African region,” reads the statement.
The US$27 million donation also includes a US$900,000 contribution to WFP to meet the emergency food needs of refugees currently in Malawi, including recent Mozambican refugee arrivals.
“This contribution underscores the United States’ dedication to assisting the people of Malawi as they generously host their neighbors during times of need,” said Palmer.
According to the statement, since 2012, the United States has provided over US$94.6 million (MK71 billion) of food assistance to Malawi.
In additional, through President Obama’s Feed The Future and Global Climate Change Initiatives, the U.S Agency for International Development is supporting activities valued at approximately US$25 million (MK18.8 billion) annually to reduce food insecurity, poverty and under-nutrition by increasing agricultural production and helping communities adapt to climate change.
Palmer stressed that; “it is important that the Government of Malawi have a long-term resilience plan to tackle agriculture shortfalls holistically through crops diversification, sustainable environmental management, irrigation, and policy reforms to reduce market distortions and expand production.”
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