Between June and September 2022, an estimated 2.6 million people representing 13% of the country population are experiencing high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3, Crisis) in the 28 districts and four cities of Malawi. Urgent action is required to protect livelihoods and reduce food consumption gaps. A further 6.5 million people are in IPC Phase 2 (Stress) and require action for disaster risk reduction and livelihood protection. Six districts are overall classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), these are: Chikwawa, Lilongwe City, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno and Nsanje. Key factors driving this situation are: the various climatic shocks experienced throughout the district, mainly dry spells, cyclones and floods, leading to below average crop production; economic decline, including the effects of the Ukraine-Russia conflict on fuel and commodity prices, the 25 percent devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha, high input prices, leading to high costs of production and low purchasing power; and the continued high food inflation leading to high food prices.
Between October 2022 and March 2023, the situation is expected to deteriorate, with 3.8 million people in Malawi (20% of the population) expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3), an increase by 7% compared to the current period. The number of districts classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is estimated to increase from six to 21 including the four cities. This likely deterioration is attributed to seasonal factors, as this period coincides with the lean season, and a high proportion of the population starting to deplete their food stocks; the continued impact of the war in Ukraine on food prices; potential reduced internal food productions due to high prices of inputs and possible climatic shocks; reduced labour opportunities and wages; and shortage of food stocks.