ACT appeal Malawi: Food relief to hunger victims - AFMW-21 (Rev. 2)

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 1,342,518
Balance Requested from ACT Network: US$ 941,203

Geneva, 3 April 2002

Dear Colleagues,

The Malawi appeal responding to the hunger situation caused by severe shortages of food in the country is being revised for the second time, and this time to incorporate a proposal from the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Blantyre Synod. The proposal has been supported by Presbyterian Church of the USA (PCUSA).

Following a survey of food needs in Malawi, PCUSA/PDA recognises that the general food aid needs are not being met in the current crisis, especially in the Southern Region of the country. A critical decline in the nutritional status of an estimated 930,000 vulnerable people (UN) threatens to continue unless adequate measures are taken to increase the food pipeline for those affected with the food shortages in the country. The severe food shortage is a result of the poor 2001 harvest that was due to the excessive rains and floods, coupled with reduced and late delivery of farm inputs. According to FAO special alert (302), the harvest had declined by one-third from the level of the previous year. The food prices from February 2002 have more than doubled and most of the rural people cannot afford to buy food and have to go for long periods of time without having anything to eat. Thousands of children are reported to be malnourished and dying. The number of people dead is not clear, but in the project area at Chingale about 16 children, 4 women and 14 men including the village headman have been reported to have died between February and March 2002.

The response by CCAP brings to three ACT members responding to the food emergency in Malawi under this appeal. The other two being the Evangelical Lutheran Development Programme (ELDP), and the Church Action in Relief and Development (CARD). For the sake of brevity the details in the original appeal will not be repeated here.

Project Completion Date:

CARD & ELDP - 30 June 2002
CCAP - 31 July 2002

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested

Not Allocated
Total Target US$
Total Appeal Target/s
Less: Pledges/Contr Recd
Balance Requested from ACT Network
+ 59,143

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
PO Box 2600
1211 Geneva 2

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address:

Thor-Arne Prois
Director, ACT


  • Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) : Blantyre Synod


The Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) comprises 13 Presbyteries, 320 congregations and 600 prayer houses. The membership is 1.2 million people, plus 800,000 member Christians.

The Project office Blantyre Synod is the Relief and Development arm of the CCAP. It was established in 1992 to respond to the socio-economic and spiritual needs of the people of the Southern Region of Malawi. The unit of the church implements projects which seek to alleviate poverty and uplift living standards of people. It has also strengthened people's understanding of their role and the role of the church in development. Presently the Blantyre Synod is implementing programmes in the areas of adult literacy, church and society, community based orphan care, food security and community livelihood programmes and civic education.

The Relief and Development Unit has been able to respond to relief intervention in various part of the Southern Region of Malawi in the month of January and February, 2002.


The food shortage situation has already been adequately described in the original appeal that was issued on the 11th March, 02 and therefore will not be repeated here. Suffice to say that the number of people affected by the food shortages has been on the increase as more and more families are running out of food and require relief assistance. An increasing number of malnutrition particularly among children, and deaths due to hunger related diseases are being reported by district hospitals. Over 300 deaths have been reported in the southern regions of the country but the figures could be much higher as people in the most remote villages do not normally report the deaths to the district authorities. Most families have started selling their assets including livestock at very low prices in order to buy some little amounts of food which is now selling very dearly.

The Malawi government continues to import maize from South Africa and so far has brought in over 83,000 tons out of the expected 150,000 tons the efforts of the government need however to be supported by further assistance from the international community.


The main goal is to alleviate the suffering and preserve the lives of approximately (26,000-30,000) extremely vulnerable persons in Chingale Division, Zomba District, Southern Malawi (Villages: Balamanja, Masaula, Fikira and Nkasala).


  • To supply and distribute 225 metric tones of food aid as supplementary daily rations in order to meet critical food needs and improve the nutritional status of approximately 30,000 vulnerable persons in Chingale division in Zomba District, Southern Region of Malawi.

  • Wet feeding for 6000 children for a period of two to four months. The wet feeding will provide at least one meal per child daily.

  • Seeds (especially short variety of drought resistance maize seeds and beans) that will facilitate planting especially in the lowlands areas in Chingale.

On average the 26,000 people will continue to require food aid over time. There is a need for a sustainable famine relief programme that will ensure people have access to food for a one-year period. The number of malnourished children registered is over 3000. The other category is children who have abandoned schools to look for food elsewhere in Chingale.

Performance Indicators

  • CCAP will supply and distribute a total of 225 metric tons of emergency food aid (Maize) to the targeted population by April 2002. Monthly distribution rates will be in accordance with acceptable rations by WFP (400gm per person day, cereal).

  • CCAP will endeavour to distribute the food ration to the target beneficiaries throughout the relief operation. Although CCAP's Food Monitors will make every effort to minimise the informal re-distribution of the food rations by conducting continuous post-distribution monitoring (PDM) assessments, a limited percentage of the food commodities will be shared and consequently some rations will be diluted. Some people in very remote areas may not be fully assisted due to bad roads. And they would have to walk long distances to receive help.

  • The infant and crude mortality rates within the targeted population will be reduced to under 2/10,000/day and under 1/10,000/day respectively by mid-April 2002. These levels will be maintained until the May/September before a short harvest 2002.

  • The malnutrition rates for 85% of the targeted population will be reduced to be over 80% weight-for-height by mid-may 2002. CCAP will maintain these levels until the August/September 2002 harvest. WFP/UNICEF and NGO field staff including CCAP and World Vision will conduct ongoing nutrition surveys using a random cluster approach to monitor the overall nutritional status of the target population.

  • CCAP' emergency food relief program will not only meet people's critical food needs, but will also enable the local population to focus its attention upon farming and other productive activities. For example, CCAP's combined food aid and agricultural rehabilitation program will enable the local population to begin preparing the land in April 2002 for planting in April/May 2002. This transition away from dependence upon relief aid is critical if the Malawians are to achieve genuine long-term development and self-reliance.

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.

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