6.7 million people in need of relief food assistance
24 districts affected by acute food insecurity
Following the start of relief assistance in response to El Niño-induced food insecurity in July 2016, WFP and partners are at the peak of the operation reaching 6.7 million Malawians in what has become the longest and largest humanitarian response on record (see timeline, pg 3).
While provision of lifesaving assistance remains paramount, WFP and partners are also prioritizing complementary productive asset activities and social behaviour change to help break the cycle of food and nutrition insecurity in the long run.
Humanitarian assistance has played an instrumental role in stabilizing the food security situation, particularly for the most vulnerable. Continuation of support remains critical particularly during the peak lean season when poor households are expected to fall into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) according to FEWSNET. This indicates that even with food assistance, households will still face large food consumption gaps resulting in high malnutrition and extreme loss of livelihood assets.
Maize prices have decreased nominally due to a variety of factors including the higher than average price-setting by the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC), active informal border trade, and large imports by the private sector. Prices remain 127 percent higher than 2015 and 54 percent higher than the 3-year average for this time.
Access to diversified food and ensuring vulnerable groups have the required nutrition support is of paramount importance. This is especially the case for people living with HIV who need to ensure adequate food consumption to adhere to anti-retroviral treatment.
The Food Security Cluster, led by the Government’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and co-led by WFP, continue leading the nation wide humanitarian response which has now entered its last two months.