A woman carries tools in an arid landscape

Malawi food crisis

Worst drought in a decade

Today, 6.5 million people in Malawi are going hungry, more than the total population of Scotland.

Drought, erratic rainfall and devastating floods have led to a life-threatening situation. Harvests have failed and prices have soared.

In the hardest-hit communities, desperate parents, whose crops were nearly ready for harvest, are cooking whatever they can find so that their hungry families have something to eat.

As ever, it is the youngest, oldest and the vulnerable who suffer most. Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children are at particular risk of malnutrition.This is what their today looks like, but it doesn’t have to be their future.

Food now will feed the future

Christian Aid has released an initial £70,000 of emergency funds to support 1,000 families in Nsanje – one of the poorest regions. This will help families pay for water, meals and other essential supplies.

But Christian Aid Scotland needs your help so we can reach more people struggling to feed their families.

Act now to safeguard the future

Our partners have worked in Malawi for many years, helping communities to improve their harvests.

Through the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund, we’ve provided farmers in Nsanje with solar-powered irrigation schemes to combat the effects of climate change.

However, the present food crisis is jeopardising all the progress we have made, leaving communities more vulnerable than ever. Hunger today is starving Malawi of its tomorrow. 

Give now. Help us address the immediate food crisis and continue to boost the longer-term resilience of communities in Malawi.

How can you help?

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We're based in countries affected by disasters so we can be there before, during and after an emergency to save lives and support people long term. Through our work with local organisations in these countries, we can talk directly to the people affected to provide the most useful emergency response.  

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Stories from Malawi

Members of the community in Nsanje explain what their families are going through as a result of food shortages.

Enifa July in a field in Malawi

Enifa July

'The drought this year has been so much worse. In the past we could at least harvest something but this year nothing. We don’t even have the energy to tend to our crops. We eat once a day. Sometimes we even go to bed on empty stomachs, which makes me feel bad. I feel sorry for my children when I see them crying all day and not going to school. They act like we have forsaken them because of hunger. My prayer is that God sees me and my family through, to give us food to survive on until our harvest is ready. Bags of maize and beans would make a big difference to our lives because my family won’t be hungry.'

Fatima and Elias Baela in a field in Malawi

Fatima Baela

'Because of the drought my family and my village do not have a crop. There is nothing to feed my children. We are so desperate that they have to eat water lily tubers. The situation is worse than in other years. We have had nothing from our fields so we often see our children fall sick from lack of proper food. We feel bad when our children don’t eat as they are too weak and hungry to go to school. We are lucky to eat once a day. We now have water for our crops from the new water pump but while we wait for our harvest to grow, we are praying for food to arrive so we have the strength to work in the fields and look after our newly sown crops. If we have food our children will also be able to go to school without feeling hungry. We will no longer feel desperate.'