Nearly 7 million Malawians are suffering food insecurity caused by devastating drought and floods. Extreme weather events are changing lives as harvests are destroyed and future farming is threatened.
Cash transfers are being handed out in Nsanje district
Further funding from the Scottish Government
In response to the incredibly generous support from Christian Aid supporters for our Malawi Food Crisis appeal since its launch in July, the Scottish Government has pledged to increase its match funding of the appeal to up to £140,000*.
This additional match funding will double donations from individuals, churches and Christian Aid groups across Scotland and beyond. The increased funds will, in turn, support 2,100 vulnerable households through cash transfers, seed distribution and village savings and loan groups.
‘Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the Scottish Government, we will be able to extend our reach.'
In response to the Scottish Government's recent announcement, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, Sally Foster-Fulton said:
'We welcome the extension of match funding for our Malawi appeal. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the Scottish Government, we will be able to extend our reach to those struggling from one of the worst food shortages in a decade.'
Dr Alasdair Allan MSP in Malawi
And, speaking from Mbengo village in Balaka district, where he was visiting a Christian Aid project, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, the Minister for International Development said:
'There is no doubt that the poor and vulnerable are the first to be affected by climate change and will suffer the most despite the fact they have done little to cause the problem. For people in Malawi climate change threatens all aspects of their lives including access to water, food, a home, an education and economic development.
'This is why the Scottish Government continues to champion climate justice at home and abroad and why we increased our climate justice funding to £3 million per year this year.'
The Malawian Government estimates that the current drought in Malawi has destroyed more than 1.5 million acres of crops which were almost ready for harvest.
In the south of the country, half of all crops have been entirely wiped out and food prices are soaring. In August, we learned that locusts threatened a large proportion of the newly planted crops planned for the winter harvest. All of which means that 6.7 million people will need food assistance until the end of March 2017.
Selena Antonyo, 69, is a widow from Nsanje. She has five children, two of whom have left home. Selena can hardly remember a time when food was in such short supply.
In extreme circumstances, she has previously made family meals out of water lilies. But now, even the lilies have run out and at the closest stocked market, 15km away in Mozambique, they cost almost four times as much as they used to.
Selena says, 'All these situations are as a result of the very little rain. All the places have completely dried up and we see no future for us. If there is no assistance, then surely we will perish.'
Pasakunapha Butawo, 64, is also a widow from Nsanje. She depends on her four grandchildren to help her find food for the family's survival. Often, even her grandchildren can find nothing to eat and they go to school hungry.
Pasakunapha told us, 'I pray to God that he should see me and my grandchildren through this. He should provide us with food so that we at least survive and my grandchildren should grow and get educated. And [I pray] I will also be strong to go to my field to cultivate, getting ready for the next rainy season.'
Our response so far
In response to this need, Christian Aid Scotland launched a Malawi Food Crisis appeal in July.
And in Scotland and beyond, Christian Aid supporters have been pulling out all the stops to help our Malawian brothers and sisters. As a result of coffee mornings, cake sales and church offerings, generous donations have been pouring into the offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth.
In Nsanje district, Christian Aid's partner Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) began supporting over 1,000 female-headed households with small cash transfers in August.
‘It was truly humbling to see how much hope the first cash transfers brought to the families.'
These families will receive a monthly supplement of 20,000 Malawian Kwacha (around £21) for three months. This small grant will ensure that they can purchase the food they require without having to resort to selling their agricultural tools or livestock.
Susan Wangai, Christian Aid's Programme Funding Officer in Malawi, visited Nsanje district last month to see the difference the support for our appeal is making.
Susan reported, 'We handed out the first cash transfers in Nsanje last week, and it was truly humbling to see how much hope it brought to the families.'
Susan and her team also visited our Scottish Government funded solar irrigation project to see how, despite the drought, the winter harvest is thriving.
'When we got to the irrigation project it was like arriving at an oasis in the desert as it was so dry. This project is one of the best things that Christian Aid has done in Malawi.'
Support the appeal
You can read case studies from Malawi, find prayers for those affected and donate to the appeal on our website.
And, if you'd like to hold a collection in your church, you can download an appeal poster and order emergency appeal envelopes from your local office.
The Scottish Government will match every pound raised* by Christian Aid – meaning we can transform the lives of those in Malawi affected by climate-induced food crisis.
*Up to £140,000, on public donations received between 14 July 2016 and 30 November 2016. Please make your donation by Friday 25 November if you can.
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