Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has rolled out the 2019/20 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Plan (LS-FIRP) to arrest the worsening food situation in various parts of the country.
During the launch at Capital Hill on Tuesday, Principal Secretary in the Office of the Vice-President and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni said the 2019/20 LS-FIRP is informed by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s (Mvac) annual report.
The Mvac report projected that 1 062 674 people were at risk of food insecurity in the country’s 28 districts.
Moleni said government needs $51.8 million (about K38.8 billion) to implement the programme, with government providing some of the financing while donors have pledged support.
He said: “Government has already sourced $10.7 million [about K7.86 billion], leaving a financial resource gap of $42.7 million [about K30.2 billion]. The programme will be implemented up to March 2020 as recommended by the Mvac annual assessment report.”
Moleni said the affected districts and beneficiaries will be provided with either cash to purchase foodstuffs or actual foodstuffs such as maize and pulses.
So far, seven districts of Balaka, Chikwawa, Dedza, Karonga, Neno, Nsanje and Phalombe have been fully resourced for cash transfers, which will be implemented by various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and humanitarian partners.
Implementation of cash transfers is expected to roll out in Balaka and Nsanje within this week, according to Moleni.
He has since commended various donor and humanitarian partners who have contributed resources towards LS-FIRP.
Government is also implementing once off maize distribution exercise which will end in December.
The total maize requirements for the implementation of the exercise is 8 129 metric tonnes (162 580 bags of maize each weighing 50 kilogrammes) valued at K1.79 billion.
The required maize will be drawn from the strategic grain reserves, according to Moleni.