Food Assistance to Refugees in Malawi

About this Operation

Operation Documents

Budget Revisions

Resource Situation

This Operation has been modified as per Budget Revision 1 (see below)
Malawi has traditionally hosted a wide array of refugees from neighbouring countries who mainly originate from Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. WFP has provided food assistance to the current caseload of refugees since 2002 under emergency operation (EMOP) 10152 followed by protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO) 10309 in 2004. The current PRRO closed in December 2009.
According to a recent Joint Assessment Mission and a Food Security Survey, WFP-supplied food represents, on average, as much as 75 percent of food consumed by refugees, confirming that most refugees are heavily reliant on external food assistance. Government restrictions on freedom of movement, local integration and wage-earning opportunities have a negative impact on the refugees’ ability to become self-reliant.
This successor PRRO will provide food assistance to refugees through general food distributions in the Dzaleka refugee camp and at the Karonga refugee transit shelter. The PRRO will also seek to address massive deforestation around Dzaleka camp due to excessive cooking fuel demands of the camp population.
The overall goal of the PRRO is to contribute towards achieving and maintaining food security among refugees settled in the officially designated camps, while protecting the environment and livelihoods of the surrounding communities, with particular focus on food-insecure households.
The specific objectives of the PRRO are: (i) to maintain adequate and regular access to food for targeted refugees; and (ii) to restore, maintain and, wherever possible, improve the natural environment as well as physical and social infrastructure in host communities. These objectives are in line with WFP’s strategic objective (SO) 1 ‘Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies’, and SO-2 ‘Prevent acute hunger and invest in disaster preparedness and mitigation measures’.
The PRRO will run for three years and cost an estimated US$8.8 million. It will require 9,186 mt of commodities, out of which 8,391 mt will be for refugees and 795 mt for food-for-asset activities targeting the host communities.
A tripartite agreement has been concluded between the Governments of Malawi and Rwanda and UNHCR to facilitate the repatriation of Rwandan refugees.
However, the agreement has not been fully implemented as most Rwandan refugees in Dzaleka are not willing to voluntarily repatriate. In the event that there is an increase in the number of refugees voluntarily repatriating to their countries of origin, WFP will automatically adjust the food requirements downwards to reflect changes in the refugee population. The Government of Malawi is not in favour of granting citizenship to refugees who want to stay in Malawi, and hence the option of naturalisation is not applicable in the Malawi context.