As up to 7 million people are facing food shortage in the country, the Scottish Government says it will double its pledge to the humanitarian situation.
According to Scottish International Development Minister Dr Alasdair Allan, following a funding of up to £230,000 (K202 million) in July this year, the Scottish Government is so far making a further £240,000 (K211 million) available on a match funding basis to Oxfam, Christian Aid, SCIAF and EMMS International.
Allan revealed that the 7 million figure of Malawians that are likely to face food shortage is larger compared to total population of Scotland hence need for additional support.
He further said that the funding will be used to support some of the poorest families in Malawi to survive the food crisis over the next few months, supplying at least 25,000 people, including severely malnourished children and people living with HIV, with basic food supplies, as well as with drought-resistant seeds to help them prepare for the longer term.
Speaking at Mbengo village in Balaka District, where Christian Aid are delivering a Scottish Government-funded food aid project, Allan said there is no doubt that the poor and vulnerable are the first to be affected by climate change and will suffer the most despite the fact they have done little to cause the problem.
“For people in Malawi climate change threatens all aspects of their lives including access to water, food, a home, an education and economic development. This is why the Scottish Government continues to champion climate justice at home and abroad and why we increased our climate justice funding to £3 million per year this year,” said Allan.
“This additional funding will make a real difference on the ground. It will help those most vulnerable to climate change and empowering groups to alleviate food insecurity,” Allan Added.
Chief Executive of one of the beneficiary organisations, EMMS International, James Wells said the Scottish Government knows that hunger hits the poorest and most vulnerable hardest.
“Our partners in Malawi are seeing the impact of hunger in the lives of their patients, including an increase in child malnutrition,” Wells said. “The situation is becoming increasingly urgent, and will last well into 2017.”