U.S. Government Supports WFP to Tackle Hunger and Boost the Livelihoods of Vulnerable Communities in Malawi

Photo: WFP/Badre Bahaji
Published December 9, 2020

Lilongwe, Malawi – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomes a generous contribution of $10.3 million from the United States Government, through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable households and support the livelihoods of communities in Malawi.

The U.N. World Food Programme will use part of this contribution ($7 million) to support 85,000 food-insecure households in the districts of Balaka, Chikwawa, Machinga, Mangochi, Nsanje, Phalombe, and Zomba through the construction or rehabilitation of assets that strengthen their resilience to climatic shocks. USAID/BHA has been supporting the U.N. World Food Programme’s Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) programming since 2017. This new contribution will enable targeted households to create productive community assets, such as fish farming ponds, micro-irrigation schemes, and flood-control dykes, among others, while they receive cash transfers to cover immediate food needs.

The contribution ($3 million) will also enable emergency food assistance to food-insecure households in the country. The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), a government-led committee tasked with providing timely early warning information on food insecurity, estimates that 2.6 million people, nearly 15 percent of the country’s population, will face acute food insecurity during the 2020/2021 Lean Season. USAID/BHA contributions ($350,000) will also support MVAC functions in the coming months.

“The U.S. Government continues to help the people of Malawi avert hunger, build their resilience and improve their food security. We appreciate the U.S. Government’s support for our efforts to help break the cycle of hunger in Malawi,” says Benoit Thiry, U.N. World Food Programme Malawi Country Director.

“The increasing risk of climatic shocks to poor, rural households worsens their hunger situation. The U.S. Government has partnered with the U.N. World Food Programme to help poor households mitigate, manage, and endure the impacts of such shocks,” says Catie Lott, Mission Director for USAID/Malawi.

The U.S. is one of the largest donors to the U.N. World Food Programme in Malawi, contributing $46.9 million since 2017 to emergency response, support for refugees, and efforts to break the cycle of hunger. The U.N. World Food Programme is supporting the Government of Malawi through a range of programs, including emergency food assistance and cash-based transfers, nutritional support, and resilience-building.

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About the U.N. World Food Programme | The U.N. World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. Our efforts focus on responding to emergencies while strengthening the Government’s social protection system; preventing chronic malnutrition; providing locally produced school meals; and building resilience of rural communities to be more self-reliant and equipped to face climatic shocks.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA @wfp_media @wfp_Malawi

Read more about the U.N. World Food Programme’s resilience program here.

About USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) | Helping people affected by disasters and other humanitarian emergencies is at the core of what USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) does every day, all over the world. It reflects our values as Americans, demonstrates our global leadership, and makes the world a safer place. BHA leads and coordinates the U.S. Government’s disaster assistance efforts overseas. We also support food insecure refugees fleeing war, violence, or persecution.

Read more about BHA here.