The MVAC’s annual assessment in July identified that approximately 2.8 million people affected by severe floods and dryness during the 2014/15 season will need humanitarian assistance between October 2015 and March 2016. Although response planning is underway, required funding for the current plan stands at only 10 percent. This gap in funding may delay in-kind distributions and cash/voucher transfers that are planned to start in October.
Increased market demand, low national food supplies, and continuing depreciation of the Malawi kwacha, are all contributing to higher than average national maize prices. National maize prices in August were about 43 percent above the three-year average, and FEWS NET’s price projections indicate that average prices will be about 50 percent above the three-year average from October through December. From January through March, prices are expected to be about 40 percent above average. Prices for alternative commodities including pulses, cassava, and other cereals are likely to increase gradually by 20-40 percent between October and March.
The Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook seasonal forecast indicates that the southern half of Malawi will receive erratic and below-normal rainfall during the October to December period. These conditions will likely result in inadequate moisture for crops, which could adversely impact weeding opportunities that normally provide incomes for very poor and poor households during the lean season. From January through March, there are increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall across the country.