Lives of about two million Malawians are at stake due to looming hunger this year due to crop failure in most parts of the southern African country, the World Food Program has warned in a statement issued this week.

“The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee indicates that out of the 29 districts in the country, 15 are affected by a deteriorating food security,” reads the press release.

So far the government has started acting by donating 5,000 metric tons of maize to the affected people as an initial response to the crisis.

“The United States is making an in-kind donation of Likuni phala-valued at US$7.8 million. US$7 million from Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) is covering the initial transport and distribution costs of the maize donated by the government,” the report reads.

The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee is made up of government, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the academic.

“So severe is the situation that an estimated 1.6 million Malawians will need food assistance in the coming months,” the report says.

In its assessment, the report says the figure is eight times as many as during the last lean season.

The first phase of the relief has targeted about 200,000 people in Chkhwawa, Machinga and Nsanje districts.

Meanwhile, WFP says it requires an additional amount of about six billion kwacha to carry out the relief operation smoothly.

“We’re pleased with the strong support donors have shown thus far for the government-led relief operation,” says WFP Representative and Country Director, Abdoulaye Diop. “However, to get the food in place before the rains and before prices spike, we need more funding urgently.”

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