UK Bails Out Malawi, Donates K23 Billion Amid ‘Mice And Grasshoppers’ Sentiments

The United Kingdom, through its Department for International Development (DFID) has given Malawi K23 billion (£24 Million) in response to the Malawi government’s National Disaster Response Plan.

The donation comes at a time President Peter Mutharika has called on the nation to resort to mice and grasshoppers as one way of dealing with the looming food shortage.

UK Development Minister Nick Hurd said the assist will benefit 6.5 million people requiring food assistance over the next nine months.

Malawi's food shortage worsening

Malawi’s food shortage worsening

This is the largest international humanitarian response in the country’s history and is a result of widespread crop failure and poor harvests, exacerbated by the El Nino weather event.

Late rains, long dry spells and floods in some areas, combined with poorly functioning markets, low food stocks, uncertain maize supplies and high inflation, has led to a potentially catastrophic situation.

The funding will among other things enable nutritional screening of over 800,000 children and treatment of approximately 150,000 children, pregnant and lactating mothers and vulnerable adults who are suffering from acute and moderate malnutrition.

In addition the funding will enable cash transfers for up to one year for over a quarter of a million vulnerable people to assist them to meet emergency food and other needs at local markets.

A proportion will be supported to develop their agricultural and other assets in return for cash. Support to 50,000 people to build resilience through asset production over 6 months while providing cash or food.

It will also emergency school feeding for over 60,000 primary age children in the worst affected districts and also to support winter cropping, irrigation and early strategic maize procurement for emergency distribution and agricultural assets work.

Besides, the UK remains a major donor tackling poverty reduction in Malawi. Between 2011 and 2016 the UK will have provided around £400 million in bilateral development assistance to Malawi, with a projected expenditure for DFID Malawi of over £80m in 2015/16.This includes UK support to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the Global Partnership for Education, of which Malawi is a significant recipient, the World Bank’s IDA, EU, and a range of centrally – and regionally -managed DFID investments, including for economic development and civil society.-MBC

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