Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) faces a deficit of K27.1 billion to fully assist 1.5 million people facing food shortage and in need of relief between December 2021 and February 2022.
Dodma requires K28.8 billion to fully implement the plan, but as at November 2 there was only K549.4 million allocated the institution said in its presentation to local councils on 2021/22 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Plan.
Estimates from Ministry of Economic Planning and Development; and Public Sector Reforms through the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) indicate that the vulnerable population will need 35 296 metric tonnes of maize.
In an interview in Mzuzu yesterday after meeting councils from the Northern Region, Dodma deputy director of Response and Recovery the Reverend Moses Chimphepo said the response plan has four clusters.
He said these are food security requiring $30.39 million (about K25.5 billion), nutrition budgeted at $2.27 million (about K1.8 billion) protection and social support as well as transport and Logistics require $536 650 (about K455 million) and $818 722 (about 695 million), respectively.
But despite the huge deficit, Chimphepo assured that they are discussing with Treasury and other organisations such as World Food Programme to assist.
He said: “Our programme involves logistics, but we also need to buy that food and so do calculations. We need about K7.9 billion for us to procure maize.
“The budget also requires us to provide a food basket that includes a bag of maize, a five kilogramme bag of beans and two litres of cooking oil.”
Chimphepo said food insecure people in Nsanje and Chikwawa will receive cash for three months starting from December 2021 to February 2022, while the rest will receive the food basket for two months from January to February 2022.
In August, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development; and Public Sector Reforms Principal Secretary Winford Masanjala said 1.2 million of the food insecure population is from rural areas while 186 254 are from cities and 57 915 are from district centres.
He said the rural vulnerable population has decreased by 38 percent this year, from 2 032 106 to 1 252 277 people while the urban vulnerable population has decreased by 69 percent from 610 429 to 186 254 people.
Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee comprises government ministries, departments and agencies as well as international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and United Nations (UN) agencies and assesses levels of access to food by the population to determine the severity of food and nutrition insecurity.
It also determines food and non-food needs of the affected population, among others.
In the 2021/22 National Budget, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu said State agencies National Food Reserve Agency and Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation were allocated K12 billion for maize purchases to restock the Strategic Grain Reserves.