In a statement yesterday, 04 February 2015, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said its food distribution program has managed to reach almost 210,000 flood victims in Malawi. WFP now aims to scale up the food distribution to reach a further 160,000 people.
Floods hit Malawi in early January. By late January the flood had caused 79 deaths and left 153 missing. Over 600,000 people have been affected by the flooding, which left over 63,000 hectares under water. Crops and livestock have been badly hit, raising fears of poor harvests and food shortages in the future. By late January the UN reported that 174,000 people had been displaced by the floods and were staying in relief camps. Many of the displaced in the relief camps were in dire need of food.
Food Aid Distributed to 210,000
By the end of January, food distribution had reached nearly 210,000 people. More than 1,500 metric tons of food assistance had been distributed in eight districts (Chikhwawa, Karonga, Machinga, Mulanje, Nsanje, Ntcheu, Phalombe and Zomba).
Some of the hardest to reach areas have been Chikhwawa and Nsanje. In order to distribute food aid in these districts, WFP had to use its own helicopter.
WFP’s assistance consists of maize, beans, vegetable oil and Super Cereal (a flour fortified with vitamins and minerals). Meanwhile, WFP has also provided 28 metric tons of High-Energy Biscuits to more than 34,000 people in Chikhwawa and Nsanje districts. The fortified biscuits are often used in emergencies when people have no access to cooking facilities.
WFP Aims to Reach 160,000 More
WFP is now working with the Government of Malawi and humanitarian partners to bring food to an additional 160,000 people who have been affected by the floods. This week, WFP will dispatch food to Mangochi, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Blantyre, Salima and Balaka districts.
WFP said that additional contributions and donations are urgently required to fill the funding gap.