Lilongwe — United States Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer announced the United States’ donation of US$15.7 million (MK9 billion) worth of food commodities to Malawi to assist a portion of 2.8 people in need of humanitarian food assistance.
According to a press release made available to Malawi News Agency (Mana), the assistance is in response to the September 21, 2015 appeal for door support of up to USD146.4 million (MK 84 billion) by the government of Malawi following the Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) findings in July 2015.
The statement reads that as a result of the unfavorable 2014/15 farming season, 2.8 million Malawians in 24 districts will require food assistance from October, 2015 to March 2016.
“The late onset of rains, severe flooding, mid-season dry spells and early ending of rains contributed to an approximately 30 percent reduction in Malawi’s maize crop production,” reads part of the statement.
The UN World Food Program (WFP) will receive and distribute the United States food donation of 6, 250 metric tonnes of beans and 2, 810 metric tonnes of vitamin A & D fortified vegetable oil as part of a larger food basket designed to meet the nutritional requirements of those in need, according to the statement.
In the statement it reads that since 2012, the United States, through the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided over US$55 million (MK29.2 billion) of food assistance to address food insecurity stemming from recurrent adverse weather in Malawi.
“In August, 2014, the US provided USD7 million (MK3.7 billion) through WFP to support the MVAC response to the seasonal food security that affected 640, 000 people in 19 districts across Malawi,” reads the statement.
It reads that early this year, the US also provided assistance totaling US$9.3 million (about MK5 billion) to Malawi government when the country experienced widespread, devastating floods and the assistance was channeled through several relief organizations that include UNICEF, WFP, GOAL, Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, Project Concern International and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The statement reads that the US provides approximately US$25 million per year under President Obama’s Feed the Future and Climate Change Initiatives that are building resilience among vulnerable households in central and Southern Malawi.
“These programs are designed to increase agricultural production and help communities adapt to climate change, in doing so they are reducing food insecurity, poverty and under nutrition,” reads the statement.
The statement further stressed that it is important to tackle agriculture shortfalls holistically, addressing crop diversification, environmental degradation, irrigation, market distorting export licenses and farmers’ role in the marketing of agricultural commodities.
The United States is committed to Malawi’s welfare and development that the US is proud to partner with the people of Malawi in this time of need.
The food donation will arrive in Malawi beginning October, 2015.