Malawi declared a State of disaster

14 April 2016
Lilongwe - Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika had declared Malawi a State of disaster following prolonged dry spells caused by the El Nino weather pattern that has been experienced within the 2015/16 farming season.  Even without indicating the estimated population to be affected, it was mentioned the central and southern region districts of Malawi are the worst affected and more people than before will require humanitarian assistance.

The declaration comes after another humanitarian response relief that International community including UN organizations in Malawi have been providing to hunger affected communities estimated at around 2.8 million people since October 2015. During this period, women and girls were seen queuing and sleeping at maize selling points and increased cased of sexual exploitation and gender based violence were also reported by women and girls as they struggled to buy maize.

“I fully appreciate all the previous assistance Malawi has been receiving when affected by disasters, including support for the on-going humanitarian response programme. However, I appeal for humanitarian relief assistance from the International donor community, the relevant United Nations agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, the private sector as well as all fellow citizens of goodwill, so that, together, we can contribute in alleviating suffering on the part of people who have been affected by the food shortage” President Mutharika said in the statement released from his office

In the recent two months, UNFPA in Malawi has managed to mobilize about $60,000 from DFID to support building capacity of Area and Village civil Protection committee members in the districts to prevent and report any cases of Gender based violence. The trainings have been done in three districts of Phalombe, Chikwawa and Nsanje and are likely to be scaled up to all districts in the Southern region and central region following the declaration by the Malawi President.  

Malawi is likely to face a deficit of 1,072,461mt of maize, a staple food crop for many Malawians. While Government waits for the external support, the remaining part of food items will start to be distributed to the affected people. About 52% of Malawi’s population is comprised of females and young people aged below 35 years comprise 80% of the 17.2 estimated population.