Humanitarian assistance for households already facing acute food insecurity due to a poor harvest in 2014 started in December and January, improving food access and resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) outcomes in the presence of this assistance. However, heavy rainfall and extensive flooding in parts of central and southern Malawi has displaced approximately 175,000 people and affected an additional 525,000-825,000 people. Currently the displaced populations are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and the remaining affected populations are likely Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Extensive flooding has washed away crops, damaged roads, and displaced households in the central and southern regions. During a 4-10 day period in January, these areas received 108-433 mm of rainfall in places that typically receive 53-135 mm of rain during that same period. Some humanitarian organizations are reporting difficulties in delivering and distributing assistance due to the flood waters and the damaged road networks.
It is estimated that between 700,000 to over 1 million people have been affected or displaced by the flooding and will require humanitarian assistance between January and June. This assistance may be required throughout the next consumption period for some areas if recovery is not achieved.