“The November 2019 assessment has shown an increase in the number of food insecure people from 1,062,674 to 1,879,391 across the country. However there’s no change in the number of months for intervention (deficit months) which are 2.5 months,” reads the report in part.
On his part Principal Secretary in the Office of the Vice President, Wilson Moleni, who is also Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, said in an interview that the increase in the number of affected people is due to low supply of maize on the market.
“There is low supply of of maize on the market. Private traders are withholding stock so they sell at exorbitant prices. The high maize prices, food inflation and fuel prices are reducing purchasing power of vulnerable households,” said Moleni.
He cited other factors such as fall armyworms and attack by mealy bug on cassava crop has left some districts such as Neno, Nsanje, Balaka and Lilongwe to be food insecure.
Government has rolled out interventions to reduce the impact of hunger. According to Moleni, “Government also rolled out a Once off Maize Distribution Exercise in all districts to cater for immediate food needs pending roll out for Mvac humanitarian response programme. Government also rolled out rice distribution to districts affected by floods in 2019.”
Vice President Everton Chimulirenji said Government needed about K38 billion to buy food and other items.