Malawi Government needs US$446m to feed 9m food insufficient citizens – Chakwera

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has disclosed that the government will need to raise US$446 million to feed the nine million citizens up to the next harvesting period in 2025.

The targeted nine million people, who include beneficiaries of the Affordable Input Programme (AIP), had their crops wilted before maturity due to the prolonged dry spell that hit the country between February and March this year.

Speaking at the presentation of the El Nino Response Appeal at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Tuesday, President Chakwera expressed disappointment that the natural disasters continue to render useless all the efforts Malawians and his government are putting in place to grow the economy.

At this point, the Malawi leader emphasized the need for citizens to devise measures for mitigating the impacts of the disasters.

“It is now a well-established fact of life, a new normal we must accept, that climate change disasters are an annual occurrence in this country. It is now no longer a question of IF we will have climate change disaster, but a question of HOW MANY and HOW BAD.,” said Chakwera.

The President thanked local and international non-governmental organizations, which have provided support to Malawi in times of disasters.

L-R SPC Zamba, UN Country Rep. Adda-Dontoh, Chakwera, Zim. High Com., Nancy Saungweme and Commissioner Charles Kalemba display the Appeal Pic. By Kondwani Magombo _ Mana

“I am so grateful that in response to my Declaration of Disaster in 23 districts where this crisis is being felt the most, a number of you reached out to your Governments and partner organizations, resulting in our mobilization of 21.6 million dollars. When you add to this the recent decision by the World Bank to inject a further 57.6 million dollars to support our response to the disaster, it brings us to just under 80 million dollars, meaning that our shortfall to close the hunger gap completely is now at 366 million dollars. Let me also acknowledge the solidarity expressed by the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, with the people of Malawi in the face of the present crisis and I am hopeful that the UN Family will do its part in bringing its resources to bear on this crisis. Like our development partners, the UN Family has been a constant bastion of support for Malawi, and I am proud that in times of crisis, we are indeed always treated as family,” he said.

But President Chakwera admitted that the US$366 million target his government is aiming for is no small feat, stressing that it needs collective effort to achieve it.

He thus appealed for more support from various partners.

‘i call on you, as Friends of Malawi who have earned that title by your solidarity with and support of Malawi in good times and in bad times, to count yourself in by doing your best and your part to help. I also appeal for you to ensure that any assistance rendered aligns with the National Response Plan and Appeal I am presenting to you today, for this ensures that we are not pulling in different directions and also ensures that our response is driven by the data provided in our Response Plan,” he appealed.

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