European Union helps WFP provide lifesaving food assistance in Malawi
Lilongwe, MALAWI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a new contribution of €800,000 from the European Union (EU). This funding will help provide food assistance to the most food insecure refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi, who have been particularly hit by the economic consequences of COVID-19.
“We want to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the population of Dzaleka Refugee Camp,” said Mathias Eick, Regional Information Officer for the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Operations. “The pandemic has significantly worsened the situation of refugees and asylum seekers at the camp, where coronavirus cases have already been confirmed. This contribution is an expression of our solidarity with this vulnerable community during these trying times.”
The EU contribution will enable WFP to provide 41,000 food insecure refugees and asylum seekers hosted in Dzaleka Refugee Camp with cash-based transfers, preventing them from sliding further into poverty. It will also create income opportunities for refugees through a pilot livelihoods project with income-generating activities such as hydroponics, waste management and recycling, and soap/face masks making in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We thank the European Union, WFP’s key partner, for stepping in to support refugees and asylum seekers who are facing the threat of COVID-19 on top of so many other challenges,” said Benoit Thiry, WFP Representative in Malawi. “This timely contribution will lessen the impact of the pandemic on these extremely vulnerable groups.”
In May 2019, WFP was forced to reduce by half the food rations it provides in Dzaleka due to funding shortfalls. The new contribution from the EU will complement resources from other partners to enable the provision of a complete food basket once again. WFP Malawi applies strict COVID-19 protection measures during distributions to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission among beneficiaries, personnel and partners.
The number of refugees in Dzaleka camp has more than doubled since 2013. Due to limited access to arable land or other ways of earning a living in the camp, refugees and asylum seekers depend on humanitarian and development assistance provided by WFP and partner organisations so support from donors like the EU is critical to alleviate their hunger and economic hardship.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid
The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.
Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.