Malawi: Acute Food Insecurity Situation for July-September 2018 and projections for October 2018-March 2019
01.07.2018 > 31.03.2019


& next steps


2.2 Million People are estimated to be facing Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and 4) between July and September 2018. 

From Oct to March 2019, the food security situation is expected to worsen with 22% of population analysed or 3.3 million people in IPC phase 3+ in need of urgent humanitarian support to protect their livelihoods and save lives, specifically 2,857,245 in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 449,160 in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). There are 14 districts in the south are areas of concern, classified to be in IPC Phase 3+ owing to production deficits. 

Currently, food availability is declining in southern and central Malawi due to rainfall deficits that resulted in below-average 2018 main and winter (irrigated maize) harvests. Third round crop production estimates released by the Ministry of Agriculture, irrigation and water development in september indicated 2018 maize, rice, and sorghum production is 17, two, and 61 percent below the five-year average, respectively. 

These major cereal crops typically contribute about 75 percent of rural households’ annual food requirement. Very poor and poor households are increasingly reliant on market purchases due to household production deficits.  September marked an atypically early beginning of the lean season in southern Malawi. Central districts are also expected to see an early start to the lean season in late September/October. Significantly below-average income from staple and cash crop sales and reduced agricultural  income during the winter harvest period, poor households are expanding typical coping strategies by selling more livestock, seeking casual labor opportunities much earlier than normal, and increasing the intensity and frequency of other income generating activities such as firewood and charcoal sales. 

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