Malawi Household Food Security Bulletin | Mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) on the Effects of COVID-19 in Malawi – Round 6

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Food insecurity at household level is starting to increase, as observed by a decrease in the proportion of households having acceptable food consumption in Round 6 compared to the previous five rounds.

  • The proportion of households who are employing the most severe consumption-based coping strategies and emergency livelihood coping strategies is higher in the current round of data collection as compared to previous data (Rounds 1-5), indicating that households are applying adverse coping strategies in order to maintain good food consumption and thus implying the start of the lean season.

  • Physical access to markets has decreased in the current Round 6 compared to the previous rounds (Rounds 1-5), owing to economic problems faced by households to access money to procure items from the markets. Urban-based households reported having greater physical access to markets as compared to rural-based households, likely due to their high market dependency and better income opportunities.

  • The reported cases of fever and cough have increased in the current round compared to the number of cases reported in Rounds 1-5.


The favourable rainfall during the 2019/2020 growing season has enabled the country to enjoy above-average crop production this year, realizing an 11.5% increase in maize compared to the last season.[1] Despite the good harvest, some areas were affected by prolonged dry spells, floods, and erratic rainfall resulting in poor crop production. These areas are more likely to have households classified as vulnerable with the onset of the 2020/2021 Lean Season.


The Sixth Round of remote household-level survey data collection in response to COVID19 monitoring and seasonal trends in food security took place in October-November 2020. The survey for this report was conducted using live telephone calls from the 13th of October to the 11th of November 2020, collecting information from some 1,413 households in all districts and major cities.

The sample size was calculated based on the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Technical Manual (Version 3.0) guideline of having at least 150 samples per strata.
Additional details on this methodology are available in Annex 1.