The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group board of directors has approved a $17 million (about K12.2 billion) food crisis response budget support programme for Malawi.
The programme is expected to support government’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) to mitigate the current food crisis through the purchase of maize for distribution to vulnerable households.
In a statement made available to The Nation yesterday, the bank says the grant will enable government, through the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), to procure 36 000 metric tonnes of maize from international sources as well as from local suppliers.
“It is estimated that the programme will benefit more than 700 000 food insecure people, most of whom are women and vulnerable children. The resources will help the country to achieve short-term food security at the household and national levels, as well as engender economic stability,” reads in part the statement.
Speaking in Lilongwe, AfDB resident representative, Andrew Mwaba, said the gesture was in line with the commitments by AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina when he visited Malawi in April 2016.
He said it is within the context of the bank’s US $550-million (about K412.5 billion) relief package from various AfDB windows and financial instruments in support of 14 countries severely affected by the drought in Eastern and Southern Africa due to the El Niño weather-related hazards in 2015-2016.
In June this year, the bank and government also signed a $1 million (about K715 million at that time) grant agreement for a humanitarian emergency assistance to mitigate the impact of floods and El Nino. n