WFP Malawi Country Brief, October 2020

Situation Report
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In Numbers

5,953 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Malawi (as of 9 November 2020)

USD 36.3 million six-month (November 2020–April 2021) net funding requirements

41,000 refugees assisted with food and cash distributions

Strategic Outcome 1

Refugees: WFP finalized food and cash distributions for the 41,000 refugees for the October to December cycle maintaining the ration size at 75 percent. The next cycle of distributions is planned for January 2021. Distributions will be maintained at bi-monthly intervals to reduce exposure for beneficiaries, partners and staff to COVID-19.

• Lean Season Response: The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) has started data collection for its IPC update (Household Economic Approach- HEA and household survey), with results expected by the end of November. WFP is finalising consultations with Development Partners and the Government to roll-out the 2020/2021 Lean Season Response plan. In October, WFP received contributions from the Government of Norway (USD 5.6 million) and USAID (USD 3 million).

Strategic Outcome 2

• School Feeding: As of October, schools had fully reopened in Malawi after being closed since April due to COVID-19. WFP plans to start rolling-out the next round of take-home support for school meals for the remainder of 2020 in November. 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: With keen attention on the use of the social protection system in times of emergencies, WFP is working with the Government to do additional preparedness activities ahead of the upcoming lean season, including on communications and social registries.

Strategic Outcome 3

• Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment: In collaboration with the Government of Malawi, WFP facilitated the development of a booklet on Dietary Related Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) to serve as a blue print for all partners implementing Social Behaviour Change Communication work on primary prevention of NCDs in Malawi.

• As coordinator for the Scaling-Up Nutrition-SUN Business Network (SBN), WFP continued to support private sector engagement in nutrition. In October, WFP supported SBN representatives to participate in a training on “Front of the Pack Nutrition Labeling (FoPNL)” that was organized by the SUN Global team.

Strategic Outcome 4

• Livelihoods: Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) initiative have been progressing well with participants creating various assets in their communities while adhering to COVID-19 prevention measures. Meanwhile, about 66,414 participants have received food and cash assistance from WFP.

• Over 8,000 farming households in seven districts (Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Mangochi, Nsanje, Phalombe and Zomba) received district-specific seasonal rainfall forecast and associated agro-advisories for decision-making • Simultaneously, farmers were encouraged to use the Farmer Call Centre which provides instant and direct e-Extension advisory services considering the COVID-19 context. The service provided extension services on crop and animal production as well as other messages on cross-cutting issues including gender, nutrition and climate-smart agriculture. During the reporting period, the call centre received and supported a total of 6,485 interactions with farmers.

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 COVID19 Household Food Security Monitoring bulletin.

• Unless additional financial resources are received, data collection for the Household level Food Security Monitoring will not go beyond 2020. WFP is currently advocating for continued funding into 2021 to allow for the increased monitoring of the medium-term effects of COVID on both rural and urban-based households.

Strategic Outcome 6

• In support of the Government’s COVID-19 preventive measures, WFP (as co-lead of the Logistics Cluster) erected mobile storage units at the Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe for health screening of passengers.

• WFP also facilitated the transportation of a 20 feet containers for UNICEF, to Phalombe and Zomba.

• WFP received a USD 195, 000 contribution from the Government of Iceland to support humanitarian logistics services.