A latest report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) has shown that a total of 1 062 674 people, out of the total estimated Malawi rural population of 14 747 257 will not be able to meet their annual food requirement during the 2019/20 consumption period.
Chiunda: Over 1 million Malawians to require food assistance
The report released Thursday October 3, shows a decrease in the affected population from 3,306,405 people during the 2018/19 consumption period.
According to a statement released by Secretary to the treasury Cliff Chiunda, the population has decreased from 3,306,405 people during the 2018/19 consumption period to 1,062, 674 people this consumption season in all the districts with varying degrees of severity.
"This decrease has been as a result of increased agriculture production during the 2018/19 agriculture season due to favourable weather in general, despite instances of flooding, Fall Army Worm infestation and extended dry spells in some districts," reads the report in part.
The total humanitarian maize that is required to support the affected people is estimated at 33,810 Metric Tonnes (MT) with an estimated cash value of about K6.76 billion. In addition, the report shows that the affected population will also require 6,762 MT of pulses, costing about K10.14 billion and 1,244 MT of vegetable oil, costing about K2.24 billion.
Secretary to the treasury Chiunda has since given an assurance that government, in collaboration with its development partners, will be implementing response interventions to assist the affected population.
Meanwhile, Chiunda said the National Food Reserve Agency is in the process of procuring maize to increase their stocks to be able to manage any eventualities.
"In addition, ADMARC is procuring maize from the smallholder farmers to ensure that the commodity is available in all its selling points, so as to stabilise the prices of maize, in particular during the lean period," said Chiunda.
He further said government in collaboration with stakeholders will continue to implement safety nets and resilience building interventions across the country.