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, 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 is underfunded, assistance started in October and is expected to roll out in 12 of the worst affected districts on time. Without additional response funding, assistance is likely to drop off in December or January. This may result in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the north, south, and central regions during the January to March 2014 period. (FEWS, 31 Oct 2013)