Special Report: Malawi

News and Press Release
Originally published
Floods and drought have ravaged communities throughout this poverty-stricken nation, creating massive food shortages that threaten millions with malnutrition and starvation. Most households are unable to grow enough maize, the national staple food, to last the season. And when it's available, it's selling quickly in the local markets. During the first three months of the year, the price of maize skyrocketed; following this year's harvest, prices are expected to again increase beyond the reach of most households.
Malawi's situation is exacerbated by food shortages elsewhere in the region, making it more difficult for the country to buy sufficient amounts of imported food. As in other areas in southern Africa, many rural residents of Malawi have been forced to live off wild foods, which are dwindling fast, and to harvest and eat green (unripe) maize, which will only make the grain more scarce in the coming months. Households also have been forced to sell off assets, including livestock, which are being sold for less than half their normal price.

CARE's Response

CARE belongs to a network of community groups and organizations that has called for the government to distribute free maize to the most vulnerable people and to establish a plan to prevent future food shortages. TThis network is targeting farmers through the distribution of 90,000 pamphlets explaining what people can do to support members of their community.

CARE also is expanding our agricultural activities, including the distribution of cassava cuttings to farmers as well as preparations for a long-term emergency response.