The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) says despite â€˜strongâ€™ resource mobilisation efforts to distribute food aid in 15 affected districts, there is a commodity and funding shortfall of 56 712 metric tonnes and $23 million (about K7.3 billion), respectively.
Out of this, maize accounts for 44 845 metric tonnes or 80 percent of the commodity shortfall, according to a Mvac response programme update.
But Mvac observes that the funding shortage does not take into account the $2.4 million (K768 million) Word Food Programme (WFP) multilateral contribution yet to be programmed.
“In the event that the full maize requirement is covered by the government, the shortfall for the response will be $ 11 million [about K3.5 billion],” reads the update in part.
The update from Mvac, chaired by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, covers the first three months of the operation from August to October 2012.
A recent report by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) covering August 2012 through March 2013 indicated that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has jumped to 1.76 million from 1.63 million, but EP&D Minister Atupele Muluzi disputed the figures arguing they are not reliable.
The report said if funding is not ramped up, acute food insecurity conditions are likely by December 2012 as current maize prices are double those of 2011 and continue to rise on most local markets in the South, exceeding recent Fewsnet price projections.
Mvac adds that urgent funding is required ahead of the rains, calling on WFP to pre-position 11 282.46 metric tonnes food items out of which 8 678 metric tonnes is for maize, 1 735 metric tonnes for pulses, 867.88 metric tonnes of corn soya blend (CSB) before the start of the rains in November when the roads become nearly impassable in some areas.