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26 May 2016 description

Hanna Ayesu’s* soybean yields were low. Despite her seven years of experience growing soy, she was rarely able to grow enough to sell and wasn’t able to access inputs that would improve her crop’s yield.

The Ayesu family’s story is not unique. Of the five million people in Malawi’s Feed the Future target regions, more than two-thirds are poor. Many households, including those headed by women, till small plots for subsistence. For these farmers, hunger and undernutrition are no strangers.

25 May 2016 description
report Reuters - AlertNet

By Mabvuto Banda

LILONGWE, May 25 (Reuters) - More than half of Malawi's population is in need of food aid after an El Nino-induced drought decimated crops, the minister of agriculture said on Wednesday.

Read the story on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

24 May 2016 description


60 MILLION people affected globally at present.

32 MILLION people food insecure in Southern Africa.

10.2 MILLION people in Ethiopia need emergency food assistance.

50 PERCENT crop losses in Haiti due to El Niño-influenced drought.


24 May 2016 description

The United States and 47 other UN member states have endorsed the joint statement below affirming the importance of and adherence to international humanitarian law at the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, May 23–24.

24 May 2016 description
report Voice of America

Anita Powell
May 23, 2016 2:49 PM

Severe food shortages in southern Africa are expected to grow dramatically worse by year's end, unless the world does something soon.

African aid experts say they worry that the continent’s crippling drought may fall behind crises in conflict-ravaged nations like Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, as international aid officials converge this week for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

21 May 2016 description

As the country is entering the peak phase of the main harvest period, Maize prices continue to remain relatively stable across the 17 monitored districts. However, the current prices in most districts remain higher than long term three year national average prices. As shown in fig 1, the highest district average prices per 1kg of maize were observed in Nsanje (MK206), while the lowest prices were recorded in Chitipa (MK125) which is 14 % higher than the official ADMARC prices, and 6% higher than the three year national average prices.

21 May 2016 description

Maize prices continue to remain relatively stable in most parts of the 17 monitored districts as observed during the first week of May, 2016. However, the nominal maize prices are still higher than normal compared to previous trends.

As shown in fig 1, the highest district average prices per 1kg of maize were observed in Thyolo (MK250) and Nsanje (MK203), while the lowest prices were recorded in Chitipa (MK115) which is 5 % higher than the official ADMARC prices, and 26% higher than the three year national average prices.

21 May 2016 description


  • Food prices have fallen by 40 percent countrywide since March, increasing household purchasing power.

  • However, this trend is expected to be short lived due to low crop yields. The low yields mean households are still using negative coping strategies.

  • Better food availability and cheaper maize have improved household perceptions of food security, but sentiment scores remain negative.


18 May 2016 description

April marked the final round of WFP’s emergency response to 2015/16 lean season food insecurity, targeting 2.4 million vulnerable Malawians with in-kind food assistance and cash-based transfers, out of the 2.86 million affected people.* As the response ends, focus is shifting to taking stock of efforts to respond differently and capture best practices ahead of the upcoming El Niño response. Following the Declaration of Disaster on 12 April, WFP has been planning with communities to enable the roll-out of cash for work schemes for hard hit communities in targeted districts.

18 May 2016 description

Whichever way you drive into or out of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, maize is everywhere.
It flanks the roadsides for miles and miles; huge, undulating expanses disappear into the distance. You’d be forgiven for thinking the country was preparing for a bumper harvest.

But you’d be wrong. This is actually what massive crop failure looks like, and everyone here knows it.
At this point in the growing season, the plants should be tall, and the cobs turning yellow. But many plants are green and stunted. A closer look reveals that few are bearing cobs at all.

17 May 2016 description
file preview
Proposal from the WHS Southern Africa Regional Steering Group
file preview
Proposal from the WHS Eastern Africa Regional Steering Group and humanitarian stakeholders

The World Humanitarian Summit is expected to be a turning point in the way we address challenges facing our common humanity.

17 May 2016 description


  • The SADC region is experiencing a devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Niño event which is negatively affecting livelihoods and the quality of lives across the region.

  • Four Member States have already declared national drought emergencies (Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe). South Africa has declared a drought emergency in 7 of the country’s 9 provinces. Mozambique declared a 90-day institutional red alert for some southern and central areas.

17 May 2016 description

Johannesburg, 17 May 2016 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has announced a major, 110 million Swiss franc, four year initiative to support National Red Cross Societies respond to the drought that is affecting millions of people across southern Africa. The initiative will increase Red Cross relief activities significantly, alongside an important expansion of long-term efforts to strengthen the resilience of 1 million vulnerable people.

17 May 2016 description

On 12 April 2016, the President of Malawi declared a State of National Disaster caused by the prolonged dry spells during the 2015/16 season. This is following second round crop estimates that found a 12 percent decline in production as compared to the 2014/15 deficit maize production. This comes at a time when WFP continues to target 2.4 million vulnerable Malawians with in-kind food assistance and cash-based transfers, out of the 2.86 million affected people* through April.

16 May 2016 description

Felix Washon

Secretary General for International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, Elhadj As Sy, said that there is need for countries like Malawi to prepare for shocks so that they don’t turn into disasters every time they occur.

Sy said that shocks are always going to be there but the level of preparedness by the communities and nations at large where they may occur is what can determine whether the shocks can be described as disasters or not.

14 May 2016 description


12 May 2016 description

The El Niño global climatic event has had a devastating impact on tens of millions of people across the globe in 2015 and 2016. East Africa, Southern Africa, Central America, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands, continue to be at risk of extreme weather events, including below-normal rains and flooding. The humanitarian fallout includes increased food insecurity due to low crop yields and rising prices; higher malnutrition rates; devastated livelihoods; increased susceptibility to illnesses, and forced displacement.

12 May 2016 description
report IRIN

By Madalitso Kateta
LILONGWE, 11 May 2016

Mbango Chipungu has a good job and lives in an upmarket suburb of the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, but he can't remember the last time he went out at night.

Certainly not since early 2015, and the start of a wave of "ritual killings" of people born with albinism: an inherited genetic condition in which the body fails to produce enough pigment, or melanin.