• In 2017, Malawi experienced a series of cholera outbreaks. As at 31 December 2017, a cumulative total of 282 cases with five deaths were registered from the 7 districts.
• More than one million people are in food security crisis (IPC Phase 3) and have been provided with humanitarian food assistance for periods ranging from two to four months, starting December 2017.
• Agriculture in Malawi is also suffering due to wide spread attacks of Fall Armyworm. As of 26 December 2017, over 15 percent of cultivated land was infested, affecting over 695,000 families who rely on farming. This is likely to affect food production, further affecting food security after the next harvest in April 2018.
• Between January and November 2017, 43,705 children (21,426 boys and 22,279 girls) with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were admitted into UNICEF-supported community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) programmes
• From January to December 2017, in response to cholera outbreak, floods and drought, UNICEF supported a total of 128,779 people with safe water.
Situation in Numbers
1.043 million People targeted with humanitarian food assistance
(The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, Food Security Forecast, April 2017 to March 2018)
64,826 Children requiring 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)
282 People affected by cholera in 2017
(Ministry of Health, cholera updates)
UNICEF Appeal 2017
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
In 2017, Malawi experienced a series of cholera and typhoid disease outbreaks. The recent episode which started in Karonga on November 24 had no direct link with the earlier outbreaks that affected Nsanje, Chikwawa and Mwanza. By the end of 2017 cholera had spread to three more districts (Nkhatabay, Kasungu and Dowa) and was still active in Karonga and Nkhatabay. As of 31 December 2017, a cumulative total of 282 cases with five deaths were registered from the seven districts representing a case fatality rate of 1.8 per cent. The following table summarizes the cumulative total number of cholera cases and deaths registered as at 31st December 2017.
As of 31 December 2017, cholera outbreaks in Karonga and Nkhatabay were still active while the rest of the districts were not recording new cases. An outbreak of typhoid also was recorded in Mchinji district resulting in 163 cases with no deaths as of 31 December 2017.
Despite a significant improvement in the food security situation, following a good harvest in the 2016/17 growing season, a total of 1,043,000 people households still have crisis level consumption gaps (IPC1 Phase 3) and require humanitarian food assistance for periods ranging from two to four months, starting from December 2017. Earlier in the year 6.7 million people were food insecure as a result of poor harvest in the 2015/16 prowing season and were targeted with food assistance up to the month of March 2017. The May 2017 SMART survey results also indicated some improvement with overall weighted global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence at 2.2 per cent and 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.
The country also experienced heavy rains and flooding in 2017. Karonga in northern Malawi is the district that was most hit by floods with an estimated 41,430 people affected of which more than 5,000 were displaced and had to seek refuge within seven displacement sites. The Karonga floods which occurred in April 2017 caused serious damage to houses, household property, livestock and infrastructure and led to the deaths of four people, injuring six with three people still missing. Humanitarian actors have provided support to the affected people with leadership from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs
Agriculture in Malawi is also suffering due to widespread attacks of Fall Armyworm with a State of Emergency declared in the affected areas on 16 December 2017. As of 26 December 2017, over 15 percent of farmland was infested, affecting over 695,000 families who rely on farming. This is likely to affect food production, in turn affecting food security after the next harvest in April 2018.