Malawi

A major humanitarian disaster looming in Malawi

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The humanitarian organisation GOAL today called on the Irish Government and its European Union colleagues to act immediately to prevent a humanitarian disaster which is looming in Malawi.
GOAL's emergency co-ordinator, Ray Jordan, who arrived back from Malawi today (Monday, 20th May), has warned that unless massive supplies of emergency food are put in place the death toll in the Southern African country could be of biblical proportions towards the end of the summer.

"An unknown number of people died of starvation in Malawi during January and February of this year" said Jordan. "This was due to a very poor harvest in 2001. Unfortunately this year the harvest looks likely to be much worse".

The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that 200,000 metric tonnes of food are needed to make up the shortfall.

"At the moment there is just 5% of that tonnage in storage in the country " said Jordan. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that unless the international community acts immediately large numbers of people are doomed to succumb to famine".

"Although the food shortage is not expected to hit until September it is critical that a massive aid operation is put into gear straight away. This is because getting such a large amount of food into place is a massive job that will take some considerable time."

I have no doubt that people will be dying of hunger in Malawi before the Autumn and every day that the humanitarian operation is delayed will add to the numbers of victims".

GOAL has been appointed as WFP's lead agency and is putting together a major aid operation in an effort to minimise suffering.

If you would like to help GOAL's work in Malawi, please click HERE for details to donate.