The first round of crop estimates released by Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security indicate maize production to be lower by 2.0 percent having been estimated at 2,719,425 metric tons in the current growing season as compared to 2,776,277 metric tons in final round estimate of the 2014/15 season. While the full extent of impact of the prolonged dry spells that the country has been experiencing remains uncertain until when final round crop estimates are completed and vulnerability analysis is undertaken, the severity of food insecurity in the 2016-17 consumption season is likely to increase given that the population will not have recovered from the 2015/16 food insecurity.
Due to a delayed start of the current growing season, the MVAC has recommended a one month extension of the ongoing humanitarian assistance programme which was initially planned to end in March 2016.
UNICEF through its implementing partners have scaled up nutrition community mobilization and mass screening in 23 food insecure districts. In January, a total of 230,100 under-five children were screened out of which 3,241 were found to have severe acute malnutrition while 10,172 were moderately acutely malnourished, and were referred to facilities for appropriate care.
During the reporting period, UNICEF responded to floods that occurred in Karonga District in early February 2016 in addition to continuing with the response to the cholera outbreak and supporting UNHCR with the response to the Mozambican refugee new arrivals at Kapise Transit camp.