1. Brief description of the emergency and impact

A delayed start of the agriculture season and prolonged dry spells in some parts of the country ranging from 2 to 4 weeks in the 2013/14 growing season has caused food insecurity to a total of 640,009 people across the nation, requiring about 15, 830 MT of maize equivalent to address the food shortage (MVAC preliminary report, July 2014). Nineteen out of twenty eight districts namely Karonga, Mzimba and Rumphi in the Northern Region; Dedza, Dowa, Lilongwe Rural, Mchinji, Ntcheu and Salima in the Central Region and Balaka, Blantyre Rural, Chikhwawa, Mulanje, Phalombe, Machinga, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje and Zomba in the Southern Region will face food deficits ranging from two to four months. Many of these areas are impact areas for ACT members’ developmental and humanitarian projects.

2. Why is an ACT response needed?

An ACT response is needed to assist those affected by the food insecurity, including the vulnerable groups like women and under- five children, by providing the essential basic food needs and providing a linkage for early recovery. The affected populations will not be able to meet all their food needs even with the use of other coping strategies. An ACT response is also needed to safeguard on-going development projects and to prevent the plunging of the affected populations deep into poverty.

3. National and international response

The “Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s Food Security and Nutrition Outlook: April 2014 to March 2015” recommends that Government and its collaborating partners should move swiftly to plan a response for the needs of the affected population to avoid worsening of the current situation. The Malawi Government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, in conjunction with the UN (under the lead of WFP) and other humanitarian stakeholders, are planning to respond with food aid and cash transfers to all affected households. Meetings are in progress to decide on the way forward by the humanitarian stakeholders. A market assessment was done to help make a decision on the approach to be used for the response.

4. ACT Alliance response

Following assessment reports by the government and Ministry of Agriculture, the Malawi Forum is planning to respond to the crisis by issuing an ACT appeal. CARD, ELDS and BSHDC will be the ACT requesting members.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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