African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted Malawi Government with 12 million Units of Account (approximately K12.5 billion) towards Food Crisis Response Sector Budget Support.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said the money will be used for procuring maize to replenish the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) for immediate distribution to households that are food insecure.
He made the remarks Monday in Lilongwe during the signing ceremony between the Malawi government and the AfDB saying government is expected to procure about 36,100 metric tonnes of maize with the resources.
“The food insecurity currently being experienced in the country is as a result of effects of El Nino which affected food production in the 2015/2016 growing season. The latest figures from the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), it is estimated that about 6.7 million people will be food insecure up to next harvesting season,”Gondwe said.
He said this is an enormous humanitarian challenge that the government has faced in the recent times, however, the assistance will go a long way in averting the hunger situation in the country.
The Minister said this is a fulfillment of the commitment made by the President of the Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina to the President Professor Peter Mutharika and the people of Malawi as a whole.
He said government is already considering lasting solutions to break the cycle of food insecurity and that with other development partners they are already financing projects and programs of this nature.
“Our preparedness is paramount as the extreme weather conditions will remain prevalent with climate change,” he said, adding, in the current season they have already been warned of a La Nina which is the opposite of El Nino.
Gondwe said it will take everyone’s concerted efforts, individually or at community level to put together robust systems that will galvanize the resolve to create and maintain resilient communities.
AfDB Resident Representative Dr Andrew Mwaba said this is intended to support Malawians to implement the emergency plan for food inputs as a result of the drought.
He said the grant provided will not been mismanaged as they will put in place measures to monitor the funds through the central bank.
Mwaba said the Bank will also provide resources through infrastructure and business program to provide resources for small- scale in agriculture irrigation and also to provide training in agriculture, business and entrepreneurship to the youth.
He said this will target over 700 youths at the selected Traditional Authorities level in different districts.