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Monday, 17 November 2014

Germany Boosts Nutrition & Resilience Efforts in Malawi

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed two contributions from the government of Germany totalling €2.6 million. Part of the donation, €395,900 (about 240 million MWK), is for nutrition assistance, and the remaining €2,250,000 (about 1.4 billion MWK) will help build resilience over a four-year period in some of Malawi’s most food insecure districts.

Despite a good harvest in most areas, the July report of the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) found that 640,000 people in 19 districts would not meet their food needs during the lean season (December 2014 to March 2015). Moreover, high malnutrition contributes to about 42 percent of children under five being stunted (low height for age), according to the 2014 MDG/Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. Over the past four years, this survey has shown no improvement in children’s diets which are insufficient both in quality and quantity. As a result, many Malawian children suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.

WFP and its partners are providing a mixed monthly food basket or cash transfers to increase and sustain food security in affected areas during the lean season. Households receiving food assistance that have pregnant or lactating women or children under two years of age will also receive fortified blended food (Super Cereal or Super Cereal Plus, respectively) to treat and prevent malnutrition. To complement the relief assistance, recipients of food assistance will receive key messages and training on raising small livestock or making kitchen gardens as well on improving sanitation, hygiene and feeding practices.