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Humanitarian assistance expected to begin in Nsanje district amid large funding gap

  • Key Message Update
  • Malawi
  • July 2016
Humanitarian assistance expected to begin in Nsanje district amid large funding gap

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Large populations of very poor and poor households, especially in the south, are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes, requiring emergency assistance to protect livelihoods and cover food consumption gaps. These acute food insecurity outcomes in about 24 out of the 28 districts are expected to persist in some areas and worsen in others during the second half of the outlook period (October to January), in the absence of humanitarian assistance. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity outcomes are possible among households in Balaka, Chikwawa, and Nsanje districts in the absence of assistance from October to January. 

    • In the Malawi Food Security Outlook from June 2016-January 2017, FEWS NET’s analysis did not include humanitarian assistance because at that time because it was not planned, funded, or likely. However, since the June Outlook Report the president launched the Food Insecurity Response Plan on July 13th. Although the response plan is only approximately 20 percent funded, the distribution of half-rations  is expected to begin in Nsanje district in mid-July. This assistance will cover approximately 90 percent of the district population in need. Acute food insecurity outcomes in Nsanje are projected to improve from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) for the July to September and October to January period, in the presence of assistance. 

    • Very poor and poor households are the worst affected due to significantly below-average production of both food and cash crops. During the recent 2015/16 production season, many districts in the southern and central regions experienced drought conditions, resulting in significant decreases in rainfed production for both cash and food crops and in some cases complete crop failure. Reduced labor incomes as a result of crop failure in localized areas and a decline in  production in the south and central region is likely going to lead to large consumption gaps for poor and very poor households in these areas. 

    • Steep price increases are being observed at a time when prices normally stabilize and decrease. The national average price for maize increased by about 18 percent between May and June, and the June average is 193 percent above the five-year average and 80 percent higher than last year’s price. These abnormally high prices are likely going to reduce food access for households and worsen food security outcomes for the very poor and poor households. 

    • Informal cross border imports significantly increased by about 109 percent between May and June, and June imports are 66 percent higher than the five-year average. Most of the supplies are coming from Mozambique and Tanzania, and a very small amount from Zambia. These abnormally high imports levels confirm the estimated production deficits for the 2015/16 season and the low market supply levels in the country.  These informal imports are not adequate enough to fill in the national cereal requirement gap.  

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level 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. Learn more here.

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