With their homes inundated, these families have been forced to seek refuge in Mikolongo school in Chikwawa district which now shelters more than 200 households. Photo:WFP/Dannie Phiri

WFP Responds To Malawi's Flood Disaster

It is estimated that floods have left scores dead and more than 100,000 people displaced from their homes in Malawi. The World Food Programme started food distributions in some of the worst-affected areas within days of the President of Malawi declaring a disaster in 15 of the country's 28 districts. 

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Malawi is a small and landlocked country, bordering Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. It is a UNFPA global population hotspot with a rapidly expanding population (3 percent per year). The country is defined as low-income and ranks 174 out of 187 countries in the 2013 Human Development Index, where it has stagnated for the last five years. Female-headed households experience higher poverty than those headed by men. Since 2012, economic shocks such as devaluation of the Kwacha by 49 percent and inflation of above 20 percent have contributed to high living costs, with Malawi ranking as the 13th worst performing economy in the 2014/15 Global Competitiveness report. With a majority of livelihoods dependent on agriculture, the population is highly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters such as annual dry spells and flooding.

Innovating to Improve Nutrition

Concerted efforts to tackle alarmingly high rates of stunting in Malawi through WFP's Prevention of Stunting Project are being boosted by an innovative system that allows digital, real-time tracking of beneficiaries called SCOPE. This Monitoring & Evaluation tool allows greater accountability - we are able to improve activities like food management and beneficiary targeting to ensure that our assistance is reaching the right people at the right time to make the greatest impact.

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