Results of SMART surveys conducted, in seven livelihood zones, in May 2017 show a slight improvement in nutrition in Malawi, with Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence declining from 2.5 per cent in May 2016 to 2.2 per cent in May 2017. Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) also declined from 0.5 to 0.3 per cent in the same period.
Joint Measles-Rubella and Vitamin A supplementation campaigns were implemented in June 2017. Preliminary results show 100 per cent coverage (1,105,000) of the targeted children aged 6-59 months.
A corresponding number of children were also de-wormed.
UNICEF and partners have reached 87,377 people with safe water and 145,657 people with hygiene promotion messages in response to floods in Salima and Karonga districts, as well as cholera prevention and response in Zomba, Phalombe, Nsanje, and Chikhwawa districts.
Against the 2017 HAC requirement of $22.5 million, UNICEF currently has a gap of 77 per cent. UNICEF expresses gratitude to all donors for their contribution to the humanitarian response.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The nine month humanitarian response to the 2016 drought and hunger crisis, where 6.7 million people received assistance, officially ended on 31 March 2017. An evaluation of the response is underway led by Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) to identify challenges, best practices and lessons learned. Increased production in the 2016/17 agriculture season is expected to improve food security in many parts of the country, with overall favorable food security outcomes as near average harvests come in. However, households in some areas may not fully recover from the impact of two consecutive years of drought. The food security situation will be clearer once assessment results for this year are released in September.
The May 2017 SMART survey results indicate a stable nutrition situation, compared with last year, with the overall weighted global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence at 2.2 per cent and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) prevalence at 0.3 per cent compared to May 2016 when the GAM was 2.5 per cent and SAM was 0.5 per cent4 . Continued subnational coordination of the nutrition response is needed, to ensure that gains achieved during the emergency resources are sustained.
Cholera outbreaks were experienced in three districts, all of which border Mozambique which is where the index cases originated. 5 A total of 90 cases and 1 death were recorded between 11 March 2017, when the outbreak started, and 14 June, when the last case was recorded.
Malawi is currently experiencing an influx of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as a result of the on-going political and humanitarian situation taking place. It is estimated that 10,000 people may seek refuge in Malawi by the end of the year. Led by the Government of Malawi and UNHCR, an inter-agency mission to assess the state of the reception facilities in Karonga and Chitipa districts will take place in the week beginning 24 July and will form the basis for contingency planning. Meanwhile, Neno district in the southern region is still hosting about 3,000 refugees from Mozambique.