Malawi is expected to receive $1 million (about K809 million) from Switzerland that will be provided through the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation (SDC) to help address food insecurity.
A statement from the Embassy of Switzerland yesterday said the funds will be channeled through the World Food Programme (WFP) and it is further expected that it will help prevent malnutrition in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ana.
SDC head of corporation for southern Africa, Manuel Thumhofer, is quoted in the statement as having said Switzerland is committed to supporting Malawi following the effects of Tropical Storm Ana.
“We are committed to working with WFP and the Government of Malawi to meet the immediate food needs of vulnerable Malawians, reduce suffering and ensure families, especially children cope with negative effects brought about by Tropical Storm Ana,” said Thumhofer in the statement.
Tropical Storm Ana influenced heavy rains in January that caused flooding and affected 995 072 people and displaced 32 935 households.
According to the statement, 80 percent of the funding will go towards protecting most vulnerable Malawians through cash transfers estimated to reach 113 000 people while the remaining 20 percent will go towards supporting take-home rations through school-feeding programmes.
A total of 30 000 children are expected to receive a five kilogramme (kg) ration of nutritious porridge fortified with vitamins and minerals.
WFP country director Paul Turnbull is also quoted in the statement as having described the situation as being critical following loss of property due to the Tropical Storm Ana effects.
Said Turnbull in the statement: “WFP welcomes this generous contribution from the Government of Switzerland which will strengthen our efforts to reduce hunger and prevent malnutrition among the affected people.”
The $1 million funding brings the total Swiss funding to Malawi for food security to more than $10 million since 2014.
Apart from providing humanitarian assistance, the SDC supports WFP’s Rural Resilience Initiative which enables smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change through access to weather-based insurance, livelihoods diversification, microedit and savings.
The SDC is also working in Malawi with other partners to reduce new HIV infections among the youth.
According to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma), Tropical Storm Ana caused 206 injuries, 46 deaths and displaced 239 536 people.
The storm also affected infrastructure such as roads, bridges, electricity line poles and washed away crops, among others. n