BLANTYRE--Visiting World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa, Brenda Barton, has appealed for urgent donations to enable the organisation, which has a funding gap of US$30.8 million, to feed hungry Malawians.
Barton spoke on Friday when she visited some areas in Chikhwawa district to appreciate the food distributing exercise which commenced in August this year.
The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report shows 15 out 28 districts are food insecure with 1.6 million people needing food assistance.
The government, however, has responded by providing 25,000 metric tons of maize to the affected areas whereas WFP is coordinating and footing logistical costs.
She observed that there were overwhelming challenges considering that the first phase of the relief operation has targeted nearly 200,000 people in Chikhwawa, Machinga and Nsanje, among other districts.
“There is a funding gap of US$30.8 million for the relief operation, WFP is appealing for urgent donations so that food can be procured and pre-positioned ahead of the rainy season when remote areas become hard to access," said WFP Resident Country Director Abdulaye Diop. "Acting now, ahead of the lean season from December to March will also allow WFP to buy food at advantageous rates."
The WFP chief said they were "pleased with the strong support donors have shown thus far for the government-led relief operation.
"However, to get the food in place before the rains and before price hikes, we need more funding urgently,” Diop said.
World Vision International (WVI) Malawi shouldered the responsibility of distributing the food items to at least 22,946 households comprising 50 kg bag of maize, 5kg of corn soya blend and 10kg of pulses in the district.
“We are pleased that WFP officials visited the sites to appreciate what is no the ground. There are a lot of challenges here and more people will be left out,” said WVI Operations Director Willie Kalamula.
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