Vice-President Everton Chimulirenji says government has set aside 8 129 metric tonnes of maize for a once-off food distribution exercise targeting households that are facing hunger in the country.
A latest Malawi Vulnerability Assessment (Mvac) report indicates that 1 062 674 people face hunger and need urgent food assistance nationwide.
Speaking yesterday when he visited some of the people whose crops were damaged by elephants at Mapala Primary School in Nkhotakota, Chimulirenji said the exercise has already started in some districts in the Southern Region, stating the programme will run concurrently with the Mvac food distribution.
He said: “Government has lined up a number of interventions to respond to hunger by, among other things, providing 8 129 metric tonnes of maize.”
The Veep pledged continued government support to people affected by natural disasters through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma).
In the exercise, each household will receive a 50 kilogramme (kg) bag of maize monthly up to March next year.
Principal Secretary in the Office of Vice-President and Commissioner for Dodma Wilson Moleni said they have developed a blueprint to mobilise, coordinate and guide implementation of humanitarian assistance for the affected people.
He said government needs about K38.8 billion to implement the programme, adding government will provide some of the resources while developing partners have pledged support.
In his remarks, subTraditional Authority Nkhanga said there is need for the country to find permanent ways of dealing with recurrent straying of elephants from Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
Yesterday, Chimulirenji distributed 600 bags of maize to affected households.