Whilst no official estimates of maize production have been released for the 2013/14 food consumption year, the recent Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) and Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) reports indicate that a significant proportion of the population will be unable to meet their annual food requirements. This is as a result of both the inadequate availability of and access to food. The affected populations are located in more and dispersed districts of the country this year, in 21 out of 28 districts nationwide.
Low agricultural yields resulting from inadequate rainfall and/or severe floods have reduced household food availability, as well as earnings from crop production, leading to diminished purchasing power for basic staple food and nonfood items for poor and vulnerable households. At the same time, prices of most food and non-food commodities have continued to rise driven by the lingering effects of last year’s localized production shocks, macro-economic instability and high demand despite recent harvests.
The Government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has requested WFP to support the Government of Malawi in implementing a humanitarian response programme to address the identified needs.
The response will be implemented as part of a jointly developed, multi-sectoral National Food Insecurity Response Plan which is within the framework of the national contingency planning process where the UN and NGO partners engage hrough the cluster mechanism under the leadership of the Government.
Food assistance will be provided through targeted food and cash transfers to best meet immediate food requirements. Livelihood protection efforts for long-term food security will also be pursued by linking with WFP Country Programme (CP) activities as well as partner NGO activities.
Assistance will be implemented throughout the lean season from October 2013 to March 2014, while implementation arrangements including procurement and beneficiary targeting and sensitization will be put in place in September 2013.