WFP Malawi Country Brief, December 2020

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

3,084 active cases of COVID-19 in Malawi (12 January 2021)

USD 12.1 million six-month (January - June 2021) net funding requirements

41,000 refugees assisted with food and cash distributions

Strategic Outcome 1

Refugees: In December, WFP finalized plans for the next cycle of distributions for the 41,000 refugees in Dzaleka Refugee Camp to be held in January 2021. Distributions will be maintained at bi-monthly intervals to reduce exposure for beneficiaries, partners and staff to COVID-19.

Lean Season Response: In December, cash distributions under the lean season rural response were rolled out in Machinga, Nsanje and Zomba districts. The districts will be supported for four months. As of 31 December, 40,096 households (180,000 beneficiaries) have received monthly cash support of MK 23,100 (USD 30) each for the month of December, representing a 71 percent completion.

Strategic Outcome 2

• School Feeding: In December, WFP finalized the second round of take-home support for the 600,000 learners under WFP’s school feeding programme. The adaptation of the school meals programme to take-home is in line with the Ministry of Education’s guidance to partners implementing school feeding programmes.

• Social Protection: WFP continues to work closely with the Government to enhance the use of social protection system as part of the lean season response, increasing the overall resources available to reach food-insecure households, and advancing more nationally owned processes to respond to both chronic and acute needs. This is in addition to the ongoing technical support to enhance the capacity of the system to increase coverage and adequacy.

Strategic Outcome 3

• Malnutrition Prevention: WFP supported the Ministry of Health in conducting initial stakeholder consultative meetings with an objective of collecting technical expert insights regarding existing gaps in food and nutrition security for people living with HIV (PLHIV). The findings will inform the development of an advocacy toolkit for food and nutrition support for PLHIV in Malawi.

• As coordinator for the Scaling-Up Nutrition-SUN Business Network (SBN), WFP continued to support private sector engagement in nutrition. In December, WFP and the Lilongwe University of Natural Resources (LUANAR), conducted a training for private sector members on “Nutrition in the perspective of the private sector in Malawi”. Thirty-nine private sector companies in the SUN Business Network participated in the training.

Strategic Outcome 4

• Livelihoods: Food-Assistance-for-Assets (FFA) initiatives have been progressing well, with participants creating various assets in their communities while adhering to COVID-19 prevention measures. About 66,000 participants have received WFP food and cash assistance from July to November, with final December distributions to be completed in January.

• Under risk management, about 66,000 farming households have enrolled for crop insurance for the 2020/2021 growing season. These households will be compensated in case of crop failure.

Strategic Outcome 5

• WFP continued to collect availability and price information for both food and non-food commodities from traders and households across the country to better understand how COVID-19 and its associated mitigating measures are impacting market access and food security, as well as to help inform response modality discussions. These analysis bulletins have been disseminated to stakeholders through the bi-weekly Minimum Expenditure Basket bulletin and the monthly COVID-19 Household Food Security Monitoring bulletin.

• Following the Household Economic Approach (HEA) and the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis that were done in November, IPC results were submitted to the Vice President and the Department of Disaster Management Affairs principal secretary for approval. In summary, the overall number of foodinsecure people in the rural areas remains at 2,032,106 people, whereas the number of food-insecure people in urban areas has increased to 610,429 from 585,880. The increase is attributed to the rise in the number of foodinsecure people in in Mzuzu (15,313 people) and Zomba cities (9,236 people).

Strategic Outcome 6

• In support of the Government’s COVID-19 preventive measures, WFP (as co-lead of the Logistics Cluster) finalized the construction works for screening areas at Chileka and Kamuzu airports. The objective of the screening areas is to facilitate screening of inbound passengers as they enter the country.

• On information management, WFP, as part of the Logistics Cluster, has set up a platform (Log:ie) for quick and easy data capture and sharing by partners.