Economic losses and poverty effects of droughts and floods in Malawi

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Droughts and floods are a capricious part of life for many Malawians. The country depends heavily on rain-fed agriculture and so it is crucial that we understand the implications of these climate events. Not only are rural livelihoods affected, but urban households are also vulnerable to food shortages and rising prices. Finding ways to overcome the losses from droughts and floods is a policy imperative.

A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) estimates the economic losses from extreme climate events in Malawi. The study simulated agricultural production losses during climate events in an economywide model to assess their impacts on other parts of the economy and on household incomes and poverty in different administrative regions.

Estimating crop production losses

The economywide model's simulations draw on the findings from a World Bank study that used meteorological and hydrological models to examine past drought and flood events in Malawi. The study estimated the expected crop production losses occurring during events of different severities.

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