Hunger in the news

6 December 2013

The United Kingdom has contributed US$22 million (K8.4 billion) to the United Nations World Food Programme to assist Malawian families who are unable to meet their basic food needs. The contribution will enable WFP to provide food assistance to some 910 000 people for several months of the ‘lean season’ between now and March when the next harvest is due according to a press statement from UKaid and WFP dated December 6 2013. “This contribution from the UK will enable us to provide both food and cash transfers,” says WFP Country Director Coco Ushiyama.

23 July 2013

A United Nations independent expert today stressed that Malawi must reassess its national food security strategy to ensure that policies designed to combat poverty and malnutrition truly reach the most vulnerable in the population. “Recent high-profiled food security policies have failed to rid Malawi of chronic food insecurity and malnutrition,” said Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. “The country urgently needs a national food security strategy, underpinned by a Right to Food Framework Law, to hold policies to account when they do not yield benefits for the most food insecure and to ensure a coherent approach across sectors,” he said at the end of an 11-day visit to the country.

12 July 2013

The UK is to provide £35m to Malawi and Zimbabwe to alleviate the "looming food crisis" in southern Africa. (..) 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.

18 December 2012

Prolonged dry spells have driven almost four million people to food insecurity in Malawi and oil-rich Angola, in Southern Africa. (..) The World Food Programme (WFP), which is currently distributing aid to 1.8 million people [in Malawi], says it needs $14 million to cover its shortfall. (..) WFP and partners have also just launched an innovative system using mobile phones to transfer cash to more than 100,000 people, which will allow them to buy food in local markets. FEWS NET estimates these initiatives will aid the almost 2 million people in need of assistance.

3 December 2012

The United Nations food relief agency today announced it is scaling up its efforts to assist more than 3.5 million people in drought-hit areas of southern Africa, particularly in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, who are now facing the start of the hunger season. “Large numbers of smallholder farmers and their families are in the grip of what is set to be one of the harshest hunger seasons of recent years,” said the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, Brenda Barton.

20 September 2012

A nutrition act and new crops are at the centre of the Malawi government's latest attempts to overcome the effects of annual food shortages that affect more than 10% of the population. (..) Food shortages affect 1.6 million people every year, and an estimated 47% of children have stunted growth because of undernutrition, making them more vulnerable to illness and learning difficulties.

17 September 2012

An active monsoon and above normal temperatures triggered heavy downpours and flash floods during this year’s rainy season across West Africa and the Sahel, killing hundreds of people, displacing hundreds of thousands more and devastating farms in some of the countries already hit by a severe drought and acute food shortages.

11 September 2012

The World Food Programme is seeking $30 million to feed more than 1 million people in Malawi facing severe shortages due in large part to a disastrous fight the former leader of the southern African country picked with international donors. (..) Prolonged dry spells, high food prices and economic difficulties have left many people across Malawi struggling to find enough to eat this year, the U.N.'s food relief agency, WFP, said.

21 August 2012

"The situation is very serious," says the WFP director, Abdoulaye Diop. "Our field staff have observed that households in parts of the country have harvested almost nothing. Our first priority will be to make sure that vulnerable people have enough food to sustain themselves through this lean season. At the same time, we must invest in more long-term solutions."

14 March 2012

In recognition that malnutrition is an enemy to the country’s development, the Irish government and the World Food Programme (WFP) towards the end of last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a K225 million grant to support Malawi government in its Supplementary Feeding Programmes (SFPs). (..) WFP Country Director, Abdulaye Diop, also hailed the grant saying the contribution from the Irish Aid to Malawi’s fight against malnutrition was timely. “It will enable us to reach out more malnourished pregnant or lactating women and children in the country,” Diop said.