WFP Malawi's Deputy Country Director Baton Osmani helps serve hot meals at Demera School (Copyright: WFP/Pamela Kuwali)
A cross-section of people, from VIPs to ordinary community members, got together on World Food Day in October to share lessons they had learned about how to make more nutritious food a part of their daily lives.
The WFP Malawi Country Office celebrated World Food Day in Kasungu District on Friday 21 October under the theme, “Reducing the Impact of Swings in Food Prices”. The event took place at Demera Primary School, Traditional Authority Chulu, a beneficiary of WFP's School Meals Programme. It was attended by senior officials from the Department of Local Government; the Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Health; representatives from FAO; development workers and more than 3,000 community members, with the Programme Manager for The Kasungu Agricultural Development Division as guest of honour.
The day's events included a visit to Chioza irrigation site during which farmers shared stories about how Food for Assets activities have improved their livelihoods as well as the food security of their homes and community.
“The use of irrigation has boosted our incomes, our livelihoods have significantly improved and we no longer need to buy food during the December-March lean period", said the chairperson of the group. "We appreciate the work of WFP and its partners in bringing these programmes to our community”.
Displays of nutritious dishes allowed the community to showcase their knowledge about the importance of a diversified diet.
“We ensure our families eat a diversified and nutritious diet so they can have an active and healthy life", said one lady. "We appreciate that WFP organized this function so that other members of the community can learn from us.”
Deputy Country Director Baton Osmani visited the WFP school meals kitchen unit at Demera School and served hot meals. The District School Health and Nutrition Coordinator, Florence Kasiya said “the positive impact of school meals in increasing enrollment and pass rates in the 108 schools supported by WFP in Kasungu District cannot be overemphasized”. The Senior Chief of the Chulu Traditional Authority and the Head Master of Demera School also thanked WFP for providing assistance in the area.
"WFP is increasingly using different, innovative ways to help people struggling to address the nutritional needs of their families, including those affected by increasing food prices”, said Mr. Osmani after reading a World Food Day press statement by WFP's Executive Director.
He highlighted relief, recovery and resilience as the three main pillars of WFP’s work in more than 70 countries around the world. In Malawi, he said, WFP has three main activities aimed at reducing hunger - School Meals, Assistance to Food-Insecure People Suffering from the Effects of Natural Disasters and HIV/AIDS, and Assistance to Refugees”.
World Food Day is celebrated annually to highlight the vital role that food assistance plays in humanitarian crises, supporting recovery in the immediate aftermath of disasters and building the resilience needed to ensure food security.