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Humanitarian assistance for food insecure areas is fully funded

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Malawi
  • November 2014
Humanitarian assistance for food insecure areas is fully funded

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Projected Outlook through March 2015
  • Key Messages
    • Average national prices for maize remain stable and prices in October were significantly lower than they were during the same period last year. Despite this maize prices are still 135 percent higher than the five-year average. Nonetheless, maize remains available in most households and stable price trends are sustaining household food access for households that are depend on markets and contributing to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes across the country.

    • Humanitarian assistance for food insecure households has been fully funded and is planned to be implemented in the south from December 2014 to March 2015 and in the north from January to March. In the presence of this assistance, households in food insecure areas in the south are expected to experience Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1!) once assistance is underway at the end of this year. The same outcomes are expected for households in the north from January to March. 

    • According to updated forecasts provided by the Malawi Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS), the country is experiencing some delays to the start of the season because most parts of the country has not yet received main planting rains. The late start of season will reduce availability of agricultural labor that provides livelihood alternatives for poor households.


    Current Situation
    • Favorable food security outcomes have persisted since the traditional lean period began for the majority of households in October. Currently, most households are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes, with the exception of poor households in CKA zone (Karonga district) that are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and poor households in MSH (Balaka, Neno, Mwanza, and Blantyre districts) and PHA (Mulanje and Phalombe district) that are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • IPC Phase 2 and 3 acute food insecurity outcomes in these localized areas are expected to continue through March 2015 but will be stemmed by humanitarian assistance that is planned to start in December in the southern region and in January in the northern region. Factors driving acute food insecurity in these areas include reduced 2013/14 production due to dryness and an early end to the rain, along with significant reductions in income generating opportunities, leading to constrained food access because of above-average maize prices.  
    • National average prices for the maize staple remained stable at MWK 74.69 in October as compared to MWK 75.25/kg in September 2014.  The price stability and small decreases are a result of adequate household and market stocks due to high production levels during the 2013/2014 agricultural season. Favorable food stocks at the household level continue to maintain low demand on the local markets. Institutional purchases have started but appear to be having very little impact on the market. Even though the average maize price is lower when compared to last year, the current prices are still higher than the five-year average.
    • Informal cross border trade maize imports continued to be low between September and October. The maize import levels in October were approximately 90 percent below levels in October 2013 and 73 percent lower than the five-year average. Informal maize imports, especially from Mozambique, have significantly reduced due to high maize availability in the traditionally deficit southern region. Informal maize exports mostly to Tanzania registered a 60 percent increase between September and October. The increase may be attributed to Malawi Kwacha depreciating and more relaxed export ban enforcement at the northern borders with Tanzania. Nonetheless, maize exports are still 42 percent below the five-year average.
    • Humanitarian assistance programming for the 640,000 identified as food insecure is now fully funded. Assistance is scheduled to begin in the south from December-March and in the north from January-March. The MVAC conducted a follow-up assessment Nov. 9-15 and the analysis is in process and the results are expected to be released by the end of November.

    Updated Assumptions

    Poor households facing acute food insecurity across nineteen districts that were identified by the MVAC and are scheduled to receive humanitarian assistance from December 2014 and March 2015.  All other assumptions discussed in the October Food Security Outlook are still valid. A full discussion of the scenario is available in the October 2014 Malawi Food Security Outlook


    Projected Outlook through March 2015

    For the remainder of the outlook period (December 2014 to March 2015) the majority of poor rural households across the country are projected to face Minimal food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1). Poor households in CKA zone will experience Minimal food insecurity outcomes in the presence of humanitarian assistance (IPC Phase 1!) and poor households in MSH and PHA livelihood zones will experience Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes in the presence of humanitarian assistance (IPC Phase 1!). 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 4

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1

    Source:

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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