United States of America (USA) Ambassador Virginia Palmer on Friday announced a new US donation of $47.5 million (about K35 billion) to Malawi to assist people in need of humanitarian food assistance.
The donation, which is a response to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report that 6.5 million Malawians need humanitarian food assistance to alleviate hunger through March 2017, brings the US’s total contribution to the humanitarian response since October 2015 to $122.1 million (about K88 billion).
According to a statement from the US Embassy Public Affairs Section, the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) and other international organisations will receive and distribute the US’s food donation which includes 14 200 metric tonnes (MT) of maize, 10 090 MT of beans, and 6.120 MT of vitamin A and D-fortified vegetable oil.
The donation also includes $7 million (about K5.2 billion) to support the cost of distributing part of the maize donated by the Malawi Government from its strategic grain reserves and the remainder of the donation, $26.06 million (about K19.5 billion), will support agriculture recovery and nutrition activities in the country.
“We appreciate the meeting President [Peter] Mutharika convened on August 12. We were pleased with the opportunity to discuss how Malawi’s current agricultural and export policies make Malawi over-reliant on subsistence farmers who are most vulnerable to climate change for food production,” the statement quotes Palmer as having said.
Palmer also said the US will continue to work with the Malawi Government to break the cycle of food insecurity by providing assistance to help Malawi to honour its New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition commitments.
Malawi is experiencing one of its worst hunger situations in recent years. In April this year, Mutharika declared the country a State of National Disaster caused by prolonged dry spells during the 2015/2016 season.