Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, Friday received the second emergency grant aid worth $1 850 000 (K1.3 billion) from the government of Japan.
The grant was given through the World Food Programme (WFP) in response to El Nino which has caused food shortage in the country.
Speaking in Lilongwe when he received the grant, Gondwe commended the government of Japan for the grant, saying it had come at the right time when they were in need of funds to deal with hunger.
“World Food Programme is playing a critical role in dealing with this food insecurity through many initiatives,” said Gondwe.
The Japanese Ambassador, Shuichiro Nishioka, said his government believed in working together to eliminate hunger and malnutrition.
“The grant will help to improve food security among the most vulnerable households and communities in Malawi,” said Nishioka.
He appealed to the WFP to take care of the funding and purchase maize at the current market price to buy more of the staple food with less money.
A representative of WFP, Coco Ushimaya, said he appreciated that Japan was the first country to give a grant to Malawi in response to El Nino, which he said had caused food insecurity in Malawi.
“The contribution has come at the right moment when WFP is racing against time to provide a saving response,” said Ushimaya. “This grant will enable us to continue providing relief food during the largest food insecurity period in recent history.”
He said households led by women were engaging in negative coping strategies, unlike those led by men, thus making it more difficult for the former to bounce back next year as they reduce the number of meals eaten in a day.
“As maize prices continue to rise particularly in the south, purchasing power for most people is falling in almost all monitored districts, worsening the food insecurity situation for the already vulnerable Malawians,” added Ushimaya.
This is the second time the government of Japan has given emergency grant aid to Malawi this year. The first grant was given in February and was worth US5 million. n