Malawi is one of the most densely populated landlocked nations in Africa. The country has over 52% of its population living below poverty line, and the economy is predominately based on agriculture. Malawi depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations. Since May 2012, the Government has been implementing tough reforms aimed at turning on the economy, but the economy remains fragile. Fuel shortages due to forex shortages continue to plague the country, which is also exacerbating a worsening food security situation. The October 2012 MVAC report indicate 21% increase in the number of people who have missing food entitlements from 1.63 million in June 2012 to 1.97 million in October 2012.
Since 2007, OCHA ROSA has been supporting various activities in Malawi, including:
- The humanitarian response to the 2009 earthquake;
- The development of a Malawi DRR strategy in 2010;
- The harmonization of rapid assessment tools for an emergency in July 2011 and subsequent development of an Information Management Strategy to support the roll out of the assessment and the management of information before during and after an emergency.
- The revision of the national contingency plan on floods in December 2011;
- The response to worsening food insecurity in 2012/2013, including numerous missions to support the development of a response plan and CERF application.