Despite significant improvement in the food security situation in Malawi, a total of 1,043,000 people remain food insecure according to findings of the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee. Within this population, 836,766 people from districts where more than ten per cent of the population is affected will be targeted with humanitarian assistance in 2017/18 for periods ranging from two to four months. Populations from the remaining districts where populations below ten percent are affected will be included under the Government-provided safety net programmes.
There is currently an active outbreak of cholera in Chikwawa district with 31 cases. UNICEF continues to engage with the Ministry of Health and other partners to coordinate a response to the outbreak. In the cholera-affected districts, UNICEF supported civil society organizations to air 3,000 radio spots and 70 half hour programmes on national and community radio stations, reaching over 2.5 million people with lifesaving messages.
Situation in Numbers
836,766 Food insecure people targeted for humanitarian assistance (The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, Food Security Forecast, April 2017 to March 2018)
864,826 Children expected to require treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition in 2017 (Southern Africa Humanitarian Action for Children- August 2017)
150,000 People in humanitarian situations requiring access to safe and sufficient water in 2017 (Southern Africa Humanitarian Action for Children- August 2017)
121 People affected by cholera between March and mid- August 2017 (Ministry of Health, cholera updates)
UNICEF Appeal 2017
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Despite significant improvement in the food security situation, according to findings of the 2017/18 by the Malawi Viulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), a total of 1,043,000 people continue to have food consumption gaps and are catagorized under Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 3 (crisis). Of this population, 836,766 people are located in districts where more than ten per cent of the population is affected and will therefore be targeted with humanitarian assistance in the 2017/18 consumption year for periods ranging from two to four months.
Findings of the MVAC assessment indicate that nationally, staple maize production in the 2016/17 production season increased by 46 per cent compared to the previous year and by 6 per cent compared to the previous five year average. The May 2017 SMART survey results indicated 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 cent. However, a few districts in the south experienced dry spells in the month of February 2017 and continue to have populations with food consumption gaps.
The outbreak of cholera which started in March 2017, spreading to five different locations is now largely under control with the 121 cases and 1 death nationally (Case Fatality Rate 0.82 per cent), of which 31 were recorded in Chikwawa Hospital as recently as August 2017. In the current outbreak, the index cases are within Chikwawa, unlike all previous outbreaks where index cases were traced to Mozambique.