Over 1 million people in Malawi are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, classified in Crisis (IPC Phase between July and September 2021. Despite Malawi’s record high maize production of 46% above the five-year average, some pockets in these districts and cities experienced severe dry spells and earlier than normal tailing of rainfall. This led to localized production shortfalls coupled with the impact of COVID-19 on remittances, petty trade and self-employment activities. The population experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity require urgent action to reduce food gaps, protect and restore livelihoods and prevent acute malnutrition. Around 3.6 million people are classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), experiencing a mild level of food insecurity, while 14.1 million people are food secure-- Minimal (IPC Phase 1). All the four urban zones analyzed (Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba) are classified in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) while the rural areas are in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) – 16 areas out of the 28 analyzed - or in IPC Phase 1 (none/minimal).
In the projection period, October 2021 to March 2022, around 1.5 million (8% of the population) are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity. 4.49 million people are projected to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), while 12.75 million people are likely to be classified in Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1). For this period, only the two districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa are projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), the rest being classified in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) or in IPC Phase 1 (none/minimal) like Chitipa, Likoma, Nkhatabay and Rumphi districts. Out of the 1.5 million people projected in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, 186 000 live in urban settings and more than 1.3 million in rural areas.