Food Assistance to Flood Victims on the Verge of Halt

By Chikondi Chinoka 16/4/2015

The World Food Programme has cautioned that food assistance to the flood-affected and vulnerable households under the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) response will halt in two weeks unless new contributions are confirmed immediately.
This is as a result of the current low funding levels against an increase in the number of needy households.
The situation, according to WFP, will see Malawi’s in-country food stocks depleting in two weeks, bringing to an end the food assistance under both the floods response and the lean season food insecurity response.

In their Emergency Response Donor Alert, WFP said according to results of the recent joint food security assessment released in March, the number of flood victims who require food assistance between April and July has risen dramatically from 368,000 to 616,000, spanning 17 districts.

“This mark about a 70 percent increase from initial estimates and it includes two new districts, Dedza and Mzimba. A one month extension of lean season relief assistance (known as the MVAC response) into April was also recommended as a result of delayed planting rains and consequent one month delay to the harvest.

“WFP urgently requires US$ 10.8 million to continue providing relief food assistance to those
facing hunger. Given the current funding levels in-country food stocks will be depleted in two
weeks, forcing WFP to end the relief responses,” reads the alert.

According to the alert, WFP said it requires US$ 6.4 million to scale up the floods response to all 616,000 food insecure flood victims until July and US$ 1.5 million to continue providing relief assistance under the MVAC response to some 438,000 vulnerable Malawians until April.
“Of the US$ 10.8 million shortfall, US$ 2.9 million is urgently needed to draw down, transport and distribute the remaining balance of the 23,400 metric tons contribution from the National
Strategic Grain Reserves.”
“These twinning funds will enable access to sufficient maize to cover the full maize requirements for the floods response until July and for the one month extension of the MVAC response,” added the WFP alert.

However analyst tend to wonder where the money that has been donated to government to help the flood victims unless someone is pocketing the money.

The World Food Programme and other humanitarian organisations like World Vision International, UNICEF, FAO, OXFAM, Plan Malawi, Action Aid and Malawi Red Cross joined the Malawi Floods response which came about as a result of heavy rains that killed and displaced thousands of people in 15 districts across the country.