In 2013, the UK was the largest contributor to WFP operations in Malawi, donating some US$ 35 million to reach nearly 1 million people at risk of hunger, provide school meals to more than 800,000 students and scale up nutritional support by 32 percent to treat malnutrition in children and women. WFP Deputy Country Director Baton Osmani (left) and Head of Department for International Development in Malawi Sarah Sanyahumbi during a visit to a WFP food distribution as part of the 2013/14 seasonal relief operation.
A UK contribution of US$ 22 million enabled WFP to provide life-saving assistance to nearly 1 million vulnerable Malawians who were unable to meet their basic food needs during the 2013/14 lean season. This food distribution was in Dedza district, an area where people were affected drought last year.
The UK was the largest contributor to the 2013/14 relief operation, enabling WFP to reach hundreds of thousands of women and children who are often most vulnerable in times of crisis. A 2014 gender analysis of the relief operation found much collaboration between husbands and wives when it came to deciding how and when the food assistance should be consumed – helping to create more gender equality within the household.
Of the UK contribution to the relief operation, nearly 20 percent supported emergency cash transfers. This woman received cash in Chikwawa district to buy food in local markets, enabling her to provide her family with a diverse diet of fresh food while bolstering the local economy. A WFP review of emergency cash transfers in 2013 found that, for every Malawi Kwacha injected into the local market, an additional 1.2 Malawi Kwacha were generated through local purchases.
This young girl is in Standard 3 at a primary school in central Malawi. The porridge made from a nutritious corn soya blend is her first meal of the day – and likely the only meal of the day too. With a US$2.9 million contribution from the UK, school meals were provided in half of the most chronically food insecure districts during the 2013/14 lean season. During times of food shortages, school meals are a crucial safety net to protect children from hunger and ensure that their education is not disrupted.
With funding from the UK, WFP provided take-home rations of maize to older girls and orphaned boys as part of the School Meals Programme during the lean season. Girls like Edyth (left) and Lexima (right) received these rations because they were in school at least 80 percent of each month. They say the rations made it possible for them to stay in school as they were not needed to help gather food for the family.
Thanks to US$ 2 million from the UK, WFP scaled-up nutrition support through its Supplementary Feeding Programme (SFP) to treat moderate acute malnutrition among women and children during the 2013/14 lean season. This is a time when vulnerable people are at risk of slipping into malnutrition. This picture was taken near Golomoti health centre in central Malawi where Phtuma and her son, Chisomo, sit after collecting their SFP ration. She's telling him that the food will make him healthy and strong.
With UK funding, supplementary feeding distributions like this one at Maonde health centre near the border of Mozambique reach tens of thousands of mothers and children. Mothers receive fortnightly rations of Super Cereal and vegetable oil which give them quality protein aswell as micronutrient vitamins and minerals that are essential for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition.