Germany Boosts Nutrition & Resilience Efforts For Malawi’s Vulnerable Communities
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed two contributions from the government of Germany totalling €2.6 million. Part of the donation, €395,900 (about 240 million MWK), is for nutrition assistance, and the remaining €2,250,000 (about 1.4 billion MWK) will help build resilience over a four-year period in some of Malawi’s most food insecure districts.
Despite a good harvest in most areas, the July report of the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) found that 640,000 people in 19 districts would not meet their food needs during the lean season (December 2014 to March 2015). Moreover, high malnutrition contributes to about 42 percent of children under five being stunted (low height for age), according to the 2014 MDG/Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. Over the past four years, this survey has shown no improvement in children’s diets which are insufficient both in quality and quantity. As a result, many Malawian children suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.
WFP and its partners are providing a mixed monthly food basket or cash transfers to increase and sustain food security in affected areas during the lean season. Households receiving food assistance that have pregnant or lactating women or children under two years of age will also receive fortified blended food (Super Cereal or Super Cereal Plus, respectively) to treat and prevent malnutrition. To complement the relief assistance, recipients of food assistance will receive key messages and training on raising small livestock or making kitchen gardens as well on improving sanitation, hygiene and feeding practices.
The German government’s contribution will provide Super Cereal to an estimated 25,000 pregnant or lactating women in 19 districts from December 2014 to March 2015.
WFP recognises the importance of linking immediate relief assistance to longer-term solutions to enable communities to prepare for, recover from and strengthen their resilience to recurrent shocks.
“The German Government is grateful to partner with WFP in supporting vulnerable people in Malawi during times where we cannot work directly through Government of Malawi systems,” said German Ambassador Dr Peter Woeste. “One of our principal aims worldwide is to increase food security through resilience building.”
The funds from the German government will enable WFP to provide food and cash transfers to some 15,500 food-insecure households this year in Balaka, Zomba and Karonga districts, while at the same time supporting the creation of productive assets at household and community levels. These assets - including small-scale irrigation schemes, fuel efficient stoves, household and community woodlots and water harvesting structures - are expected to increase and sustain food and nutrition security while reinforcing resilience.
“WFP is grateful for the Federal Republic of Germany’s contribution and support to the people of Malawi. By enabling us to meet the immediate nutrition needs, as well as the longer-term resilience needs of the most vulnerable, Germany is joining our collective efforts to build a more food and nutrition secure and resilient future,” said WFP’s Representative Coco Ushiyama.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.
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