The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) projects that 6.5 million people, about 39 per cent of the total population, are at risk of food insecurity in 24 out of 28 districts. This is a 129 per cent increase from last year. The 24 affected districts have food deficits ranging from three to nine months, with a national maize production deficit estimated at 700,000 tons. There has been a 39.5 per cent increase in severe acute malnutrition and a 73.9 per cent increase moderate acute malnutrition admissions during the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. With more than 42.4 per cent of all children already stunted, there are concerns of even further increases in malnutrition rates.
A cholera outbreak, which began in December 2015, continues to be a challenge. As of 14 August a total of 1,748 cases with 46 deaths have been registered, representing a case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.6 per cent, which is above World Health Organization recommendations. In addition, as of 22 August 2016, a total of 350 suspected typhoid cases with no deaths have been reported since the outbreak began around 14 June 2016 and later spread into other districts such as Mwanza, Neno, and Mangochi. Contaminated drinking water and food have been identified as the potential sources of infection.
On 13 July 2016, Government launched a humanitarian response plan covering various sectors. The total cost of the response is $395.15 million; of which 111.8 million have been received as of end August 2016 (this total increases to $202.8 if committed funds are included). The food distribution that commenced in July and August 2016 for 223,000 and 928,000 people respectively provided half rations due to lack of funding. The half rations, if continued, could significantly reverse gains made in fighting HIV/AIDS and addressing Malawi’s high stunting levels.
The Government of Malawi is leading the response, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and with the support of humanitarian partners. Government has been one of the main donors, having provided around $33 million to the in-country response. The Humanitarian Response Committee is meeting twice a month and the Vice President meets regularly with senior decision makers from key partners.
As of October 2016
Fall Armyworm Outbreak
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