Malawi Hunger AlertPosted by: admin | Posted on: July 31, 2008
A poor harvest across Malawi in 2002 left the country facing enormous food shortages. At the peak of the crisis in early 2003, over 3.5 million people needed food assistance.
Forecasts predict that this year’s harvest will be better than last year’s, but hundreds of thousands of people will still require food aid.
With 60 percent of the population living below the poverty line, Malawi is likely to face an access crisis rather than a production crisis.
Many of the poorest and most vulnerable households will be unable to buy whatever food is available. In fact, according to official figures, 40 percent of Malawians can only afford half their daily requirements.
HIV/AIDS is also taking its toll with an estimated 16.4 percent of the adult population infected.
In April, 3.1 million people will receive food aid to ensure that farmers are not forced into harvesting their crops too early. After that, the number of beneficiaries will drop, but the situation will remain extremely fragile, necessitating continued food aid intervention throughout 2003..