With a majority of livelihoods dependent on agriculture, the population of Malawi — a small landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa — is highly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters such as drought and flooding. These disasters are increasing in frequency, intensity and unpredictability, giving the most vulnerable households inadequate time to recover.
The main drivers of severe hunger in Malawi are low food stocks, currency depreciation, below-average rainfall and food and fuel inflation. Over the next six months, nearly 4 million people are expected to face the most extreme levels of hunger – an increase from 9 to 20% of the population compared to 2021.
WFP has been present in Malawi since 1965. In 2021, the agency assisted over 1 million people. WFP is emphasizing Malawi’s transition from relief to resilience by addressing the root causes of hunger and scaling up resilience work.
- Food Assistance for Refugees: WFP works to achieve and maintain food security among refugees, transitioning from monthly food distributions to cash-based transfers. WFP also promotes income generating activities to increase self-reliance. The majority of refugees living in camps have no access to income-earning activities, and WFP assistance is the only reliable and predictable source of food for them.
- Resilience-Building Activities: Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) projects are the cornerstone of WFP’s resilience-building portfolio. Projects focus on water management, the restoration of agricultural land and adaptation of climate-smart agricultural practices to conserve water and soil.
- School Meals: WFP provides daily meals to around 600,000 school children in 452 primary schools. Where possible, the agency prioritizes the home-grown school feeding approach that promotes using fresh foods bought from local small-scale farmers.