NSANJE – The Government of Japan has announced a contribution of US$2.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help those people affected by recent flooding in Malawi. The announcement was made during a visit to flood-hit Nsanje district by the Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Shuichiro Nishioka, on 1 March. He flew by helicopter to visit food distribution sites in the district to which road access had been cut.
Two months after the start of the flooding, much of the land in Nsanje is still submerged with only small raised areas of land visible. During his visit, the ambassador met some of the flood victims who are living in displacement camps where they receive WFP food assistance as well as support from other humanitarian partners.
“Japan is pleased to work with WFP in responding to this flood disaster,” said Ambassador Nishioka. “Having experienced the devastating effects of disasters in recent years, Japan can relate to what Malawians are going through at this time. I sincerely hope that Japan’s contribution will lessen their hardship by helping with their emergency food needs as well as supporting the recovery process.”
At least 370,000 people are facing hunger in Malawi as a result of flood damage to food stocks and some 64,000 hectares of farmland. A food security assessment, due to be released soon, is expected to reveal that the number of people in need of food assistance is even higher than previously estimated.
Out of Japan’s total contribution of US$2.5 million, US$1.8 million has been set aside for WFP to continue providing emergency food assistance to flood-affected families who have lost everything. This will provide for the distribution of pulses and Super Cereal, a fortified corn soya blend that can be made into a nutritious porridge to help prevent micronutrient deficiencies, especially among women and children.
In the coming months, US$500,000 from the Japanese contribution will help WFP assist food-insecure families in the hardest-hit districts to begin rebuilding their lives, while US$200,000 will enable WFP to continue providing school meals to some 42,000 schoolchildren in flood-affected areas.
“We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Government of Japan and their generous support during this time of emergency,” said WFP Country Representative Coco Ushiyama. “While providing life-saving food assistance, the Japanese contribution will also help us fast-track early recovery programmes and continue providing school meals in the worst-affected districts.”
WFP was able to use in-country food stocks to launch its early response to the flood disaster. To date, WFP has reached some 370,000 flood-affected people with food assistance. Based on current figures, additional funding of some US$ 3.2 million is needed to fund WFP’s flood response in Malawi.
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