Floods and droughts have negatively impacted the food security situation of communities in Malawi. Results of the assessment by Malawi ACT forum members, coupled with results of a food security assessment exercise carried out by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC Forecast – April 2012 to March 2012) show that an estimated total population of 1,630,007 will need food assistance in the 2012/2013 consumption season. The Malawi Food Security Outlook update reports that a total of 3.61 million metric tonnes (MT) of maize will be harvested, and this is not enough to feed the Malawi population currently at 14.8 million. Agricultural production in the most affected areas of the southern region of the country is estimated at 8.6% lower than the average production of 1.1 million MT in the previous five years.
A total approximate population of 480,534 has been affected in the districts of Nsanje, Thyolo, and Balaka where some of the Malawi ACT Forum members (Churches Action in Relief and Development and Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission) have running programmes. The Malawi ACT forum agreed to respond to the food crisis at its bi-monthly forum meeting held on the 19 th of July, 2012. This was further reiterated during the Malawi Forum annual forum meeting of 5 – 7 September 2012. The situation has now reached crisis levels. Members intend to reach out to about 2.5% of the affected population in the selected three districts. The total number of beneficiaries translates to approximately 12, 013 for the planned response.
Specifically the response by the Malawi ACT forum members intend to achieve the following objectives.
– To assist 12,013 people with standard food rations (cereals, pulses, corn soya blend and cooking oil) for six months.
– To ensure recovery of the affected populations through implementing recovery and livelihood activities.
– To reduce morbidity and mortality among children under the age of five (U/5) and the affected population for a period of 3-6 months, through provision of water treatment chemicals, and dissemination of sanitation and hygiene promotion messages.
– To provide and ensure mainstreaming of cross cutting issues to the affected persons/households.