The United Kingdom (UK) has committed an additional £4.5 million (about K4.8 billion) towards a humanitarian response to the food crisis that has affected people countrywide.
Visiting Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell announced the additional funding during discussions he held with President Peter Mutharika in Lilongwe on Tuesday, according to a statement from the UK High Commission in Malawi.
Said Mundell: “I was pleased to be able to relay to President Mutharika this additional UK support. This assistance is in parallel to discussions with the government and other donors on how collectively we can urgently introduce new ways of working and reforms that will help break the yearly cycle of food insecurity in Malawi.
“Scotland can be proud of our long-standing links with Malawi and we can be proud of the outstanding work civil servants from DfID’s [Department for International Development] dual headquarters in East Kilbride are leading on worldwide.”
He said his visit to Malawi has reaffirmed how much people here value the great bond which exists between the two nations, stressing that this new UK funding will help strengthen the bond and provide life-saving support to hundreds of thousands of Malawians.
According to the statement, the additional £4.5 million takes UK’s total expenditures towards humanitarian efforts in the country since October last year to £14.5 million (about K15.5 billion).
Among others, the statement says the amount will ensure that World Food Programme (WFP) delivers emergency food packages, including basic rations of maize and nutrient-rich cereals, for over 800 000 people.
It will also help United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) undertake mass screening of up to 800 000 children to identify urgent nutritional support needs.
Malawi is facing its worst food shortage ever in recent years due to floods and dry spells that hit the country early last year.