By: Happy Arnold Soko
Malawi lacks the human resources and health services needed to tackle a looming hunger crisis that is threatening around 5 million people in the country, Executive Director for Foundation for Promoting Psychology in Africa (FPROPA) said on Tuesday.
The Malawi Star has established that drought has led to a 65 percent fall in crop production, with one-fifth of the population facing food shortages. The rate of acute malnutrition for children under five in the worst-affected areas stands at 30 percent almost double the emergency threshold set by the government.
The development has made FPROPA to embark on the distribution of 10 Million bags of fertilizer irrigation farmers and 300 bags of Maize donation to impoverished Nsanje and Chikhwawa districts. But the organization is concerned that tackling hunger will be difficult due to a shortage of human resources functioning to rural areas.
“There aren’t enough aid and transportation to the areas where the crisis has hit the most. We are appealing for more donor support to reach out to more people,” said FPROPA Director Exford Bester in an interview with the publication.
“We are calling on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide support by intervening on the ground to reinforce hospitals and save the people in the villages and assist households to manage this lean season,” he added.
Millions of people in Malawi especially in the lower Shire are expected to face severe food shortages this year following inadequate and irregular rainfall during the last year which badly affected their rain-fed agriculture.
Although the government is failing to come clear on the hunger disaster, half the country’s population will experience moderate to severe food shortages and nutritional problems.
Meanwhile, FPROPA has also targeted some of the country’s hospitals to benefit from the maize donation which is expected to resume soon. One of the hospitals to receive the donation is Mlambe Hospital in Blantyre.