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Saturday 19 June 2021
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UK responds to looming food crisis in Malawi

A new package of support from the UK will help hundreds of thousands of the poorest people in Malawi survive a looming food crisis, including children facing malnutrition.

As one of the leading humanitarian donors to Malawi, Britain is acting swiftly to respond to the country’s international appeal for emergency aid by providing £10 million to support their response plan.

Over 2.8 million vulnerable people in the country are likely to be without food this year. Floods, droughts and market distortions have pushed food prices up and left food stocks dangerously low across the region.

The new funding will mean:

the World Food Programme (WFP) can deliver emergency food packages including basic rations of maize and nutrient-rich cereals for over 700,000 people

WFP and UNICEF can provide specialist supplies to 60,000 people suffering from acute malnutrition, including children under five, pregnant women and people who are HIV-positive or suffering from tuberculosis

a Save the Children-led consortium can provide small cash transfers to over 450,000 people to buy basic supplies for their families at food markets, helping sustain the local economy.

International Development Minister Grant Shapps said:

Malawi is facing its worst food crisis in more than a decade. Not only do floods and droughts cause immediate suffering for millions of the world’s poorest people, they also hold back a country’s development.

As well as this new urgent humanitarian assistance, support from the UK is helping Malawi to break the devastating cycle of annual food crises.

Having visited Malawi in June, I believe it is right that we continue to stand by the country in its time of need. By reducing food insecurity we can help the people of Malawi to lift themselves out of poverty.

The Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

We can be proud of the longstanding links between Scotland and Malawi, and of the work undertaken in communities across our country to support Malawi’s development.

As Malawi faces a potential food crisis and deals with the effects of floods and droughts, now more than ever our support is needed, that is why this substantial package of UK Government support is welcome news.

Malawi’s population suffers frequent food shortages, but this year almost one in five people is expected to face a lack of food with crop yields 30% lower than in 2014.

DFID is working with established UN and NGO partners to alleviate the suffering of those worst affected by food shortages. We are also ensuring that the very poorest people benefit from Britain’s longer-term investment in resilience programmes in Malawi that are helping the country prepare for and cope with the double impact of extreme poverty and climate change.


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