The African Development Bank and the Government of the Republic of Malawi signed a grant agreement for a humanitarian emergency assistance to mitigate the effects of the 2015 floods and El Niño in 2016. The signing ceremony was hosted by Kapil Kapoor, AfDB Acting Vice-President, Sector Operations, during the institution’s Annual Meetings held in Lusaka, Zambia.
Malawi experienced severe floods in 2015 which led to loss of life, property and crops. A total of 2.86 million people were declared food insecure by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) in 2015. The President of the Republic of Malawi, Arthur Peter Mutharika, declared a state of emergency in the country and appealed for assistance from the cooperating partners.
AfDB has contributed to the budget shortfall with a grant amounting to US $1 million under its Special Relief Fund.
A total budget of US $110,953,031 was required to meet the needs of food insecure households and US $91,094,366 was secured from development partners.
Representing the Government of the Republic of Malawi, Patrick K. Simbani, Director for Planning and Development, explained, “There are several development partners who responded to the call. However, the resources secured were not adequate to meet the needs of all the households by March 2016 and the effects of El Niño further threatened the likelihood of restoration to normalcy of the households already under relief program.”
While the Government of Malawi with the support of the cooperating partners was implementing a food relief program to assist the food insecure people, the country’s agriculture sector in 2016 was again affected by El Niño: delays in the onset of rains, droughts and floods across the country.
Vice-President Kapil Kapoor recalled that AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina pledged support to Malawi during his official visit to the country in April 2016, in order to help the country cope with the difficult macro-economic situation – manifested in high inflation and slow growth – which has been compounded by the severe food shortage arising from weather shocks. He reiterated President Adesina’s commitment to contribute an additional US $7 million as a fast drought response, notwithstanding other projects to deal with food insecurity in Malawi.