The African Development Bank (AfDB) and government have signed a $1 million (about K715 million) grant agreement for a humanitarian emergency assistance to mitigate the effects of the 2015 floods and the 2016 El Nino.
The signing ceremony was hosted by Kapil Kapoor, AfDB acting vice-president, sector operations, during the bank’s annual meetings held in Lusaka, Zambia.
In a statement issued yesterday, the pan-African bank said Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development director of planning and development Patrick Simbani, who represented Malawi at the ceremony.
Simbani was quoted as saying that several development partners responded to President Peter Mutharika’s call for humanitarian assistance made when he declared the country a State of National Disaster in 2015 following the floods.
The statement further quotes Simbani as having said although that is the case, the resources secured were not adequate to meet the needs of all households by March 2016 and that effects of El Nino further threatened the likelihood of restoration to normalcy of households already under relief programmes.
“While the Government of Malawi with support of the cooperating partners was implementing a food relief programme to assist food insecure people, the country’s agriculture sector in 2016 was again affected by El Nino: delays in the onset of rains, droughts and floods across the country,” reads the statement in part.
Speaking in April this year at the end of his two-day visit of Malawi, AfDB Group president Akinwuni Adesina said it is time Malawi became food secure and started to feed itself instead of relying on donors for help.
Malawi is at the moment going through a hunger situation following prolonged dry spells during the 2015/2016 agricultural season. The situation has led the President to declare a State of National Disaster in the country. n