Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe
says Malawi appreciates the assistance it gets from development partners in the wake of hunger that has left 6.7 million citizens in need of humanitarian food aid.
The minister said this in Lilongwe yesterday after signing a K12.5 billion grant between the Government of Malawi and the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the food crisis response sector budget support.
The AfDB’s move is the latest response Malawi has received since President Peter Mutharika declared a State of National Disaster in April this year, following reduced food harvests resulting from the twin blows of floods and drought situations mainly in the southern and central parts of the country.
The adverse weather conditions saw maize harvest dipping by 12.4 percent in the 2015/16 season, with maize production declining to about 2.4 metric tons.
In his remarks, Gondwe said the funds will be used to replenish the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) silos mostly in Lilongwe, Mangochi, Luchenza and Mzuzu. He added that, with immediate effect, the government will begin distribution of the staple grain to food insecure families.
He said: “While it is important that we respond to the current needs, the government is already considering lasting solutions to break this cycle of food insecurity. The government and other development partners are already financing projects and programmes of this nature.”
AfDB resident representative Andrew Mwaba commended government for working hard to assist the people affected by the humanitarian crisis.