Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hunger looms over Malawi

Thomson Reuters Foundation via Plan UK: Nearly 1.5 million villagers are short of food in rural Malawi after severe weather disrupted harvests, reports Plan International. Late and erratic rains, droughts and floods have all contributed, with the north of the East African country worst affected.

Many families are now down to one or two basic meals a day, instead of three, in a bid to ration what they have. “Most households have given up breakfast as one way of saving the little food they have stocked,” says Plan’s country director in Malawi, Lilly Omondi.

“As such, their dietary intake has decreased below normal and this may result in increased cases of malnutrition in children under the age of five.” Families could be short of food for up to five months while in one of the worst hit areas, villagers walked 12 miles to get food aid.

The government will provide 25,000 tonnes of maize for distribution after 30,000 tonnes of grain rotted in reserves earlier this year. Aid workers for Plan have begun distributing maize, pulses and corn-soya blend to families in Mzimba and Kasungu.

High maize prices and families’ lack of assets after repeated shortages are worsening the situation....

A UN food program feeding children in Malawi, shot by khym54, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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