The United States has given the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) US$4.5 million (K3.3 billion) to support 217,000 people facing severe hunger in Malawi.
The funds, provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will enable WFP to provide assistance in the form of cash-based transfers in Chikwawa and Phalombe districts of the Southern Region, Dedza district in the Central Region, and Karonga district in the Northern Region, which are among the country’s most food insecure.
“The US is steadfast in its support of vulnerable Malawians facing hunger during the lean season,” said Littleton Tazewell, USAID Malawi Mission Director. “We recognise the long-standing expertise of WFP and its partners in providing life-saving relief at times like these.”
Over 1 million Malawians need assistance through March next year, part of the record 45 million people who will be severely hungry across the 16-nation Southern African Development Community at the height of the current lean season.
Prolonged dry spells and flooding from Cyclone Idai in March adversely impacted crops during the growing season in fragile areas of Malawi ahead of last April’s harvest. Rising prices of maize, the staple, are compounding the challenge of access to food for the most at-risk families.
“The generous support of the American people will help ensure that many of those most in need in Malawi will not go to bed hungry during this unprecedented regional food crisis,” said Benoit Thiry, WFP Representative and Country Director in Malawi.
The United States is one of the largest donors to WFP’s humanitarian and development programmes in Malawi, contributing over US$28 million in 2018 and 2019.
“Together, we have helped communities build resistance to the impacts of climate change,” said Mr. Thiry.