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    CHAKWERA PLEDGES CONTINUED DISTRIBUTION OF RELIEF FOOD TO VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS

    Malawi President, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, says despite low yields in previous farming season, his administration will support all vulnerable households across the country.

    Delivery the 2024 State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the opening of the 4th meeting in the 50th session of Parliament, the President toock detailed stock of progress made and bottlenecks encountered in achieving economic recovery and building resilience for the future.

    Chief among his concerns was food insecurity that was aggravated by natural disasters such as Cyclone Freddy which swept away crop fields for over 2.3 million people especially in the Southern Region.

    He disclosed that Cyclone Freddy alone caused significant damage to the crop, particularly in the southern districts of Malawi where approximately 53,000 hectares of maize fields, or 3 percent of the planting area for maize, were affected.

    The State President also shared findings of the 2023 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) which estimated the number of Malawians who would be unable to meet their annual food requirement, therefore eligible candidates for relief food.

    “The 2023 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) estimated that about 4.4 million people would be unable to meet their annual food requirement, representing close to 22 percent of the population.

    “With this estimation, the number of people requiring food support has increased by 15 percent from 3.9 million in 2022,” stated Chakwera.

    As a way of addressing the hunger situation, the Malawi leader highlighted his administration’s response to the crisis. He told Malawians that his government has initiated a 6-month intervention in which every affected household is receiving a 50 kg bag of maize per month. To this far, the intervention has been under implementation for 4 months, meaning that it will be concluded in April 2024 when the current season’s harvest is expected to be ready.

    “In response, my administration embarked on the lean season response for all the affected people in all the districts, giving each of the affected households a 50kg bag of maize every month, and I expect that members of this House whose constituencies have received this maize will testify that this is true.

    “This intervention, which started four months ago, will run for a period of six months, and it is a supplement to the decision I made to release maize from the Strategic Grain Reserves for price stabilization, and that maize is being sold at an affordable price in a number of areas through ADMARC markets,” Chakwera assured the nation.

    The Malawi government, through the Department of Disaster Management, has been distributing relief maize to affected households in almost all districts in the country.

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