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Humanitarian Assistance Coverage increases from 240,000 in July to 1.73 million in September

  • Key Message Update
  • Malawi
  • September 2016
Humanitarian Assistance Coverage increases from 240,000 in July to 1.73 million in September

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • This month, the Food Security Cluster will roll out assistance to Neno district in the south and Salima and Ntcheu districts in the central region, bringing the total number of districts receiving assistance to six. Assistance funding levels continue to be below 50 percent, but despite these low levels the government and partners have announced that beneficiaries in all six districts will begin receiving a full ration in September. In July and August, households only received a half ration. The beneficiary case load increased steeply in September. Currently 91 percent of beneficiaries are receiving assistance in-kind and 9 percent are receiving the cash equivalent. In the presence of this assistance, Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are projected through December. Agriculture Cluster activities, including the distribution of seeds, inputs, livestock support, and small-scale water harvesting activities are planned to start in October.  

    • The macroeconomic environment in Malawi continues to worsen as evidenced by rising inflation and the depreciation of the Malawi Kwacha. The Malawi Kwacha has depreciated by about 20 percent since April, despite this being the time when tobacco sales provide a considerable amount of foreign exchange earnings for Malawi and the Malawi Kwacha normal gains value. This year tobacco earnings are more than 30 percent below average. As a result, the country’s ability to import food for ongoing humanitarian assistance, to supply subsidized maize in ADMARC outlet markets, and to import inputs for the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) is compromised. This situation could have a negative impact on agricultural production during the 2015/17 season for poor households. Below-average national tobacco earnings and low uptake of tobacco by buyers is also expected to affect income availability for middle and better off households that typically rely on their tobacco earnings to pay for labor and purchase inputs for cultivation.

    • Food prices were stable between July and August, however they still remain abnormally high. This is attributed to a slowdown in maize purchases for ADMARC outlet markets and the commencement of humanitarian assistance in severely affected districts in the south.  However, the prices are still over 80 percent above last year’s and over 172 percent above the five-year average, restricting food access for low income households that are not receiving any assistance. 

    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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