WFP Malawi Brief | Reporting period: 01 October ā€“ 31 December 2015


Summary of WFP assistance:

Following the 2014/15 growing season, Malawi was faced with its first maize deficit in ten years, which has resulted in decreased food availability countrywide. This has left many people largely unable to adequately meet their food requirements or access a suitably diverse diet. Acute food insecurity during the lean season months is exacerbated by increasingly negative and unpredictable climatic shocks and a volatile economic situation. At present, Malawi is experiencing the worst food crisis in a decade due to the combined effects of devastating floods and dry spells. WFP is working to address the structural drivers of hunger in Malawi by preparing for and responding to shocks, restoring and rebuilding lives and livelihoods, and reducing vulnerability and building lasting resilience.

WFP responds to the immediate food needs of Malawi’s most vulnerable who are affected by dry spells and/or flooding, both in response to acute food insecurity that occurs during the lean season due to adverse weather and to sudden onset disasters such as the floods of 2015. Under government leadership, WFP is scaling up emergency assistance to reach 2.4 million food insecure people through food or cash transfers at the peak of the current relief response (Jan-Mar 2016). This is about 85 percent of the total affected population during the 2015/16 lean season, while the needs of the remaining 15 percent are being met by other partners. WFP works closely with the Government, building its capacity to eventually fully operate its national emergency response.

WFP rebuilds lives and livelihoods by ensuring that the acutely food insecure are integrated into early recovery and resilience-building activities to help prevent them from needing relief assistance in the future. These activities are being systematically planned with partners and local authorities, informed by: a joint national integrated context analysis of vulnerabilities in the country, multi-sectoral seasonal livelihood calendars and community-owned development action plans. Robust monitoring and evaluation systems are used to record/track progress. Along with local partners who have expertise in behaviour change communication, WFP is working to address diet diversification, promote gender equality and enhance agricultural production. Some 24,500 refugees in Malawi – the highest refugee population in a decade – also receive WFP food assistance.

Through WFP’s social protection initiatives, some 842,000 schoolchildren receive at least one nutritious meal per day, and 120,000 women and children benefit from nutritional supplements that treat malnutrition. These initiatives reduce vulnerabilities and build lasting resilience. WFP also invests in the agricultural capacities of 71,000 smallholder farmers through the Purchase for Progress initiative. WFP rolled out resilience activities to over 44,000 beneficiaries. Through new climate-smart innovations such as weather-indexed micro-insurance for farmers, WFP is helping shock-prone farmers to mitigate risk and build resilience. WFP Malawi is dedicated to sharing best practices on social protection through southsouth cooperation.