Malawi: Food Security DoDMA-UNRCO Situation Report No. 04, 15 December 2015



  • The Malawi Vulnerability Update Assessment Report of October 2015 found that a projected population of 2,833,212, will be at risk of food insecurity in 25 out of 28 districts. This represents no change from the June assessment. A rapid monitoring exercise will be conducted from December 27, 2015.

  • A Humanitarian Response Plan with Food Security, Agriculture, Nutrition, Education Protection and Coordination components was launched by the President. The total cost of the response is $146 million.

  • The number of people fleeing political disturbances from Mozambique has reached 1,600. These are being hosted at Kapise area in Mwanza district. Their needs range from WASH, Food, and Shelter, and other NonFood Items. This is in addition to the 7708 refugee and asylum seeker families that are hosted at Dzaleka refugee camp. UNHCR has reported that the Dzaleka caseload is surviving on 40% ration due to insufficient funds for the Malawi Refugee program.

  • The food security, agriculture, nutrition, education and Protection response to food insecurity is underway

  • Preparedness planning (National and district level) towards the coming season which has been classified as a strong EL NINO season is underway.

  • The country has been receiving reports of damage resulting from strong winds associated with first rains. To date, the Department of Disaster Affairs has received reports indicating that 7,209 households have been affected of which 1956 households have been assisted. DoDMA is still in the process of assisting the affected families.

25 Affected districts

2,833,512 Food Insecure people

3 – 6 Recommended period of assistance

$146.5 million required for the response: based on scenario 1 for Agriculture

Situation Overview

Following the launch of the consolidated response plan, various clusters have commenced responding to the needs of the food insecure populations. The food insecurity resulted from delayed and erratic rains that affected parts of the country. An annual vulnerability assessment exercise revealed that the country is likely to have 2,833,212 people at risk of food insecurity across 25 of the country’s 28 districts. An assessment aimed at assessing if the food insecurity had gotten worse or better based on variables being tracked from the June assessment was carried out. Results show that the number of food insecure people has remained unchanged from the 2.8 million figure identified in the June assessment. A follow up assessment will be underway from the 27th December 2015.
Several factors are contributing to the situation remaining the same, key among which has been prices of maize that have remained within the price ranges of MK110 to MK170/kg. However, among the areas surveyed, districts in the southern region of the country recorded on average higher maize prices than other regions. For example, Mulanje district reported the highest maize price of MK170 /kg in October.

Meanwhile the country is also undertaking preparedness planning for the season which has been reported to be a strong El Nino year. According to the Meteorological Services, Malawi is likely to receive higher to normal rains for parts of the Northern Region and normal to below normal rains for the Central and Southern Region. The Department of Disaster Management is leading preparedness planning based on the following hazard scenarios: Floods, Dry Spells, Food Insecurity, Earthquake and Disease outbreak.

In addition to the over 7000 families of asylum seekers and refugees that the country is hosting there are reports of about 1,300 people fleeing violence from Mozambique. These are hosted by communities at Kapise in Mwanza. UNHCR is experiencing funding challenges which has resulted in the Dzaleka caseload receiving 40% of their ration. UNHCR is therefore struggling to meet needs of 1,300 displaced people in Mwanza. Needs are Shelter, Food, and WASH.