The European Commission (EC) has allocated 15 million euros (about K7.1 billion) from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) to help the most vulnerable people affected by persistent drought in four southern African countries, including Malawi.
The other three beneficiary countries are Angola, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
The new funding brings the EC’s humanitarian aid in the region to 33 million euros (about K15.7 billion) for this year, according to the EC.
“We need to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to prevent a critical situation from getting even worse. But we also need to ensure that the people at risk can recover and build up their resilience so that they could cope with future natural disasters,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the EC’s Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
Five million people in the four countries, especially children suffering from malnutrition and related diseases, will benefit from this package, according to an EC statement.
At least two million people are food insecure in Malawi, according to the October 2012 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report. The population would require at least 84 811 metric tonnes of maize estimated to cost K6.7 billion.
Last year, the number of people that were in need of humanitarian assistance was 202 000.
Southern African countries are among the poorest in the world, according to the Human Development Report 2011. Vulnerability is further compounded by negative socio-economic factors such as the highest rates of HIV and Aids.