Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Malawi

October 4, 2016

Food Security Situation

  • Malawi, which ranks 173 out of 187 countries in the 2015 UN Development Program Human Development Index, is a low-income country with 41 percent of the population living in poverty.  The 2016 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee found that 6.5 million people are food insecure—an increase from 2.8 million people during the 2015-16 lean season last year. 
  • High maize prices, widespread crop failures, and reduced income generating opportunities has increased food insecurity among vulnerable households. A large portion of the country is expected to experience Integrated Phase Classification Crisis (IPC) 3 food insecurity from August through January. These households are relying on food assistance and resorting to negative coping strategies such as selling assets, stealing food, and taking their children out of school, according to the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS NET). Food consumption gaps are expected to continue as food security deteriorates through the lean season.
Map of Malawi
CIA World Factbook

Food Assistance Projects

  • In response to the impacts of consecutive poor harvests related to El Niño, the Office of Food for Peace (FFP) is assisting vulnerable Malawians in 25 of 28 districts.  FFP is providing U.S. in-kind assistance and locally and regionally purchased food through the UN World Food Program (WFP) and UNICEF. FFP has also supported WFP for the transportation and distribution costs of Government of Malawi-provided maize.
  • FFP partners Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Project Concern International (PCI) have also expanded their development programs in drought affected areas to provide emergency food assistance.
  • Through the CRS-led consortium, the FFP development food assistance project is assisting 248,000 food insecure households in Malawi. The project aims to reduce chronic malnutrition and food insecurity and build resilience among vulnerable populations in Chikwawa, Nsanje, and rural Blantyre -- three of the most food-insecure, chronically malnourished, and disaster-prone districts of southern Malawi.
  • The PCI-led consortium is implementing an FFP-supported project to improve food security among 63,400 vulnerable households in Balaka and Machinga districts. The project focuses on increasing market-oriented agriculture production, improving health and nutrition of pregnant and lactating women and children, and improving resilience of vulnerable households.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $116.0 million 56,680 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $30.8 million 17,155 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $8.9 million 880 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $42.0 million 45,302 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development $11.2 million 4,360 MT
Community Development Funds (CDF) $12 million  
Title II Emergency $61.7 million 52,320 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) $31.1 million  

Note: EFSP: Emergency Food Security Program

Country Specific Guidance

Last updated: October 20, 2016

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