At least 450 Chikwawa households experiencing acute food shortage resulting from combined effects of floods and drought experienced in the last growing season on Wednesday received food items from World Vision Malawi (WVM).
Speaking after the distribution, WVM regional response director for southern Africa Philippe Guiton said Malawi is the worst hit out of all the nine countries in the region.
He said it is worrying that the country continues to receive poor rains with the heat wave hitting major agricultural areas.
“The situation on the ground is worrying and there is need to ensure that early recovery, resilience and preparedness programming continues in parallel with the ongoing humanitarian response to decrease future vulnerability,” said Guiton
Group village head Salumechi said the food aid was timely and appealed for more help from well-wishers so as to complement government efforts as there is no hope for his people even for this growing season.
The exercise has seen each household receiving a 50 kilogrammes (kg) bag of maize, two litres of cooking oil and six kilogrammes of split beans (chipere). Pregnant women and lactating mothers receive an extra 10kg of super cereal soya.
In some areas, the programme will be effected through cash transfers in which households will be given money to buy food.
The programme, which is worth $2.8 million (about K1.9 billion), will reach 600 people in Mangochi, Chitipa, Mwanza, Neno and Chikwawa, among other districts where World Vision Malawi implements its programmes.
The current food shortage has affected an estimated 2.8 million Malawians who are facing hunger; however, with the price of maize on the market rising everyday, the number of those in need may rise.
In September last year President Peter Mutharika sent an SOS to development partners and local and international well-wishers to assist government in mobilising resources to feed the hungry.