K1.5bn for Balaka-Ntcheu Lean Season Response

K1.5bn for Balaka-Ntcheu Lean Season Response
K1.5bn for Balaka-Ntcheu Lean Season Response

Africa-Press – Malawi. For Zefaniya Malikita, 60, this time of the year spells doom and groom. He doesn’t know where he and his family of six will get the next meal from. Times are tough, and so is hunger.

However, Zefaniya’s situation isn’t an isolated case as hundreds of thousands of people are also facing the same predicament across the country. And, there is hope. There is help at hand.

At least 31, 287 families facing food shortage in Balaka and Ntcheu districts will receive cash payments of K36, 000 each to help them buy food during the lean season.

The cash payments in the two district are funded by the Irish Government through Irish Aid, which works with Malawi government in supporting the Social Cash Transfer program, Mtukula Pakhomo, in supporting ultra-poor and resource constrained families in the country.

Through the government’s lean season response to the hunger situation, the SCTP will pay the families a monthly amount of K18, 000 each for January and February 2022.

District Commissioner for Ntcheu, Francis Matewere, says the cash payments have come at time when most households have low food reserves while some do not have at all.

“Some families had their crop withered because of the dry spell that hit us in December,” said Matewere. Irish Aid is supporting the response in the two districts to the tune of a K1.5 billion funding.

This is part of a larger K4.9 billion response to help 99, 553 affected households in Nsanje, Neno, Chikwawa, Mangochi, Machinga, Phalombe, Balaka and Ntcheu.

The response is targeting both beneficiaries and non beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Programme and it is being funded by European Union (EU), the German Government and Irish Aid.

The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report indicated that about 1.5 million people in the country would face crisis level food insecurity between December, 2021 and February, 2022.

“The cash transfers will the people because apart from buying food for their households, they will also be able to purchase farm inputs under the Affordable Inputs Program (AIP),” Said District Commissioner Matewere.

Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Department of Disaster Management Affairs and World Food Program are working together in the response in the rest of the districts where beneficiaries will get a bag of maize and K8, 000 cash top up.

Mtukula Pakhomo works in all 28 districts of Malawi and supports over 292, 000 ultra poor and resource constrained families with monthly cash payments.

It is funded by the Government of Malawi, Government of Ireland, European Union, Government of Germany and the World Bank and gets technical support from UNICEF.

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