Between January and March, an estimated 2.5 million people will face acute food insecurity in 25 out of the 28 districts across the country. Assistance was originally planned to start in October, however Malawi’s 2015/16 emergency response assistance program remains underfunded. The start date for this assistance is unknown at this time.
Malawi has recorded very high maize prices since March/April of this year and prices are expected to continue to increase until the next harvest. Households that usually hire labor are expected to hire less over the next six months due to the poor production during the previous season and the likelihood of erratic or late rains from October to December due to the current El Niño. Increased competition among poor and very poor household for income opportunities, combined with maize prices that are well above average is expected to constrain food access.
National production and food stock estimates for the 2015/16 season indicate that the country is facing low food supplies. Excluding projected imports, the food gap is over 300,000 MT. Despite the registered import increases, the volume of cross border maize imports is too low to significantly increase national food stocks.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 35 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.