Flooding and Drought Causes Food Crisis in Malawi

March 14, 2016
Photograph: Shiraaz Mohamed/AP

Devastating floods and a detrimental weather pattern have caused a severe food crisis in Malawi. Tens of millions of people have been affected across Southern Africa, and Malawi is facing its worst food crisis in a decade with 2.8 million people at risk of hunger.

As a result of flooding and drought last year, combined with the El Nino effect this season, planting was delayed in the fall because of the dry period, which pushes the harvest off this spring and hurts employment chances for cheap farm labor. The Southern part of Malawi and most of the Lakeshore areas are the most affected.

Eight of our 10-epicenters where The Hunger Project-Malawi works are experiencing food insecurity. The ones seriously affected by the drought include Nsondole, Jali, Majete 2, Majete 3 and Nchalo Epicenters.

Though The Hunger Project does not engage in emergency response, this crisis underscores the urgent need to promote resilience for rural communities to manage such crises. The Hunger Project-Malawi will continue its ongoing mitigation work, which is primarily aimed at building strong food security systems and providing access to healthcare and income-generating activities in order to help communities grow more resilient.

The epicenters cumulatively serve a population of about 108,000 people, all of which are equipped with food banks, which last year had an average capacity of 60,000 kilograms. Each epicenter also has at least one food security trainer available to our partners.

The significance of food banks was highlighted during last year’s flood crisis in which The Hunger Project-Malawi donated 650 bags of maize grain, which was bought from our partners and supplied to the government in order to support the households affected.

As we continue to empower strong local leadership in each of our epicenters and a robust relationship with local authorities, our partner communities have greater capacity to manage in these types of crises.

Support our ongoing work to mobilize resilient communities in Malawi and 24,000 communities worldwide.

If you would like to support emergency relief efforts in Malawi, we encourage you to check out our partner organizations at InterAction by filtering by “food aid” and “Malawi” in their Member Directory.