Food security is a pressing concern in Malawi largely as a result of chronic poverty and natural hazards such as drought and flooding. Across the country, more than 3.3 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC 3 and above), though this number is expected to decrease as the 2019 harvest season progresses.?Needs are the greatest in southern districts such as Mangochi, Chikwawa, and Dezda.

Approximately 50% of Malawi’s population falls below the poverty line and 25% live in extreme poverty, which increases vulnerability to food insecurity.?Periodic flooding is also an important driver of vulnerability to food insecurity, and frequently leads to the destruction of crops and productive assets when it occurs. In March 2019, heavy rains associated with Cyclone Idai caused widespread flooding in Southern Malawi, inundating large amounts of farmland only a few weeks before the start of the main harvest season.?More than 730,000 people are estimated in need of food assistance in flood-affected areas, and it is likely that flooding will continue to have a localised negative impact on food security and livelihoods into the future.?

Latest Developments

Food security among refugees in Malawi has deteriorated in recent months a result of decreased food rations being provided by humanitarian agencies and new arrivals from surrounding countries.  In May, as a result of significant funding gaps, WFP cut food rations for refugees and asylum seekers by half. At the same time, the number of refugees has increased by approximately 2000 since the beginning of the year. The total population of refugees in Malawi is approximately 40,000, almost all of whom originate from DRC and Burundi and are hosted in Dzaleka Camp.?

Key Figures

People affected
People in Need
Moderate humanitarian conditions - Level 3
Key figures are for the entire response and are not CCCM-specific.

INFORM Global Crisis Severity Index

Crisis Severity: 2.2

Impact: 1.8

Humanitarian Conditions: 3

Complexity: 1.1

Access Constraints: 0

The above scale is from 0 (Very low) to 5 (Very high)
Information courtesy of ACAPS.
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HDX datasets

9 Common Operating Datasets or CCCM-tagged datsets are on the Humanitarian Data Exchange: