Southern Malawi has faced several consecutive years of poor harvests as a result of weather-related shocks, especially dry spells. In addition, the devaluation and depreciation of the local currency in May 2012 has significantly lowered consumer purchasing power as prices of basic commodities and staple food continue to rise. Based on the results of its post-harvest food security assessment, the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) projected that in 2012/2013 consumption period, 1.63 million people in 15 mainly southern districts would be unable to adequately access food in order to meet their basic needs. (FEWS NET, 31 Jul 2012)
An initial Food Insecurity Response Plan with an estimated budget of $48 million was presented by the Government of Malawi with the support of the humanitarian partners in Aug 2012 (Resident Coordinator, 30 Aug 2012).
The MVAC conducted a follow-up assessment in Oct 2012 and projected that the number of vulnerable population had increased from 1.63 million to 1.97 million people, representing a 21% increase (Govt, 31 Oct 2012).
For the 2013/14 consumption period, the MVAC's National Food Security Forecast projected that 1.4 million people in the 21 districts would be food insecure, representing 9.5 per cent of the population, with the Northern region being the worst affected. (Govt, 15 Jul 2013)
Although response programming was initially underfunded, funding for assistance programming through February 2014 was fully secured by November. Stressed and Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes among poor households were expected to continue during the peak of the lean period (January through March 2014). (FEWS NET, 29 Nov 2013)
During the 2013/14 planting season two livelihood zones, Central Karonga and Middle Shire, experienced prolonged dryness and and early cessation of rains, resulting in production shortfalls in localized areas. Acute food insecurity in these livelihood zones will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in June. Food security conditions are likely to deteriorate further and will result in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between July and September. (FEWS NET, 18 Jun 2014.
By Jolien Carnel
With recent flooding and displacement in Malawi heightening children’s vulnerability, UNICEF has intensified its efforts to treat and prevent sickness and malnutrition.
CHIKWAWA, Malawi, 29 January 2015 – It’s a new day at Tizola Green Bank Camp. Those who managed to find a comfortable place to sleep have woken up hungry after another night. As children are particularly affected by the lack of food, the District Health Office organizes an under-5 clinic in the camp every morning.
Snapshot 21-27 January
Nigeria: Boko Haram attacks continue, with Borno state capital Maiduguri and nearby military bases targeted on 25 January. Security forces pushed BH back from Maiduguri, but further attacks are expected. BH also raided villages in Michika local government area, Adamawa state. There are reports that BH has forbidden the use of vehicles in areas under its control.
Christian Aid is providing emergency assistance to deluged communities in Malawi, in the aftermath of the worst floods the country has seen in nearly two decades.
More than 630,000 people have been affected, with 120,000 of these displaced by the torrential rain and flooding that hit the country’s southern districts a week ago, washing away homes, livestock, crops and roads.
Christian Aid partners are working to provide 40,000 people in Nsanje and Chikwawa districts with access to clean water, toilets facilities and temporary shelter.
(Press Release, Lilongwe, 22 January 2015): The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are supporting the Government-led response to the disaster in Malawi, where heavy rains have led to massive floods, especially in the Southern region. The UN System is scaling up its support to affected populations who are desperate for safe water, food, medicines and other basic necessities.
Snapshot 14–20 January
Cameroon: 50,000 people are estimated displaced due to the recent increase in Boko Haram (BH) attacks in the northern regions. In the past week, an attack on a military base in Kolofata resulted in 143 BH killed, subsequently, BH kidnapped 80 people from one village – with three killed and 24 later released. The conflict has escalated regionally, with Chad pledging military support in Cameroon’s fight against Boko Haram.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Delayed and subsequently below-average cumulative rains since October 2014 impeded planting of 2015 cereal crops
National maize supplies are favourable, following bumper 2014 harvest
National average maize price declines throughout 2014 in response to improved supply situation
Overall, food security conditions improved in 2014, but areas where production declines were recorded remain a concern
ABOUT THIS REPORT
In 2013-14, DFID spent £85 million reducing poverty in Malawi
GIRLS AND WOMEN
23,000 women have gained access to financial services by September 2014.
13,000 girls were supported with secondary school bursaries by September 2014.
406,000 women will be supported to have improved access to security and justice by the end of 2015.
196,000 women had sustainable access to clean drinking water sources through DFID support by September 2014.
The role and potential impact of warehouse receipt systems in Malawi
By JOHN MBARIA
Most households in Southern Africa depend on maize as their main source of food and energy, given the high volumes and ease with which it is produced. Alternative food crops that are consumed as substitutes include rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, and tubers such as cassava and potatoes. Consumption of these substitutes occurs mainly when maize is not available or among those households in areas where such substitutes are more easily available (for example, cassava in northern Mozambique).
Erratic start of season and increased likelihood of below-average January to March rainfall could affect crop performance
Maize, rice, and cassava are the most important food commodities. Markets selected represent the entire geographic length of the country: two markets in each of the north, center, and south. In the north, Karonga is one of the most active markets in maize and rice and is influenced by informal cross-border trade with Tanzania.
- Heavy rains brought needed moisture to dry areas in eastern southern Africa.
- Moderate to heavy rains were observed around Lake Victoria in Uganda and Kenya.
- Needed rainfall was observed across previously dry areas in southern Africa.
- Dry conditions prevailed across eastern Africa.
1) Although good rains were observed over the Greater Horn of Africa during late November and early December, the delayed onset of the October- December rainy season combined with an erratic distribution of rains during the season had already negatively impacted ground conditions in northern Kenya and southern Somalia. As the season is coming to an end, a recovery is unlikely.
FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION
Nutrition challenges are not only about a lack of food. Malnutrition often arises when there is a gap in knowledge about positive nutrition behaviours – including what to eat, the importance of a balanced diet, and how to prepare foods to retain nutrients. Where CPAR works, diets are typically heavily starch based, limited to one or two food groups and locally available nutritious foods have been overlooked. This is why CPAR integrates nutrition and health education into all of our programming.
• The early stages of the 2014-2015 growing season in Southern Africa were characterized by significant rainfall deficits in an area extending across eastern Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, northeastern Mozambique and Malawi. The crop growing regions of eastern South Africa and Madagascar were also affected. The rainfall deficits led to vegetation levels being significantly depressed across these regions.
Tracking food security trends in vulnerable countries
· According to the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster analyses, 9.8 million people in Syria need various types of food, agriculture and livelihood-related assistance.
· As fighting prevails in Iraq, an estimated 2.2 million people across the governorates of Anbar, Kirkuk, Diyala, Ninewa and Salah al-Din are in need of emergency food assistance.
The Government of Malawi together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners are today launching a lean season relief operation to meet the food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable people affected by low household crop production and high food prices.