Malawi: Acute Food Insecurity Update of Projection November 2019 - March 2020
Nearly 1.9 million people in Malawi are in food crisis according to an updated IPC/VAC projection
01.11.2019 > 31.03.2020


& next steps



Nearly 1.9 million people in Malawi are in food crisis (Phase 3), in the period November 2019 to March 2020, which is the peak of the hunger season. These people require urgent action to prevent significant food consumption gaps and use of negative livelihood coping strategies. The food security situation in Malawi has significantly deteriorated since the projection undertaken in June for most of the country owing to changes in availability of maize grain stocks, the price of maize and alternative food commodities, the decrease in the winter harvest, below average rainfall forecast for the southern districts, and consequent reduction in agricultural labour opportunities.


  • High inflation: Inflation characterised by high staple food and fuel prices reduce purchasing power of vulnerable households through the country.
  • Low crop production: High temperatures, lack of rains, Fall Armyworm incidences and the cassava mealybug destroying the cassava crop within the Nkhata Bay Cassava Livelihood Zone further reduced the winter harvest.
  • Maize shortages: Low market availability of maize is contributing to unprecedented price increases of maize and alernative commodities (60-100% above average), even in areas producing a surplus of maize, as private traders withhold stocks for better prices. Although production of maize was average in the 2018/2019 season, localised shortfalls in the South led to an early reliance on markets.
  • Low income: Low tobacco prices, a key cash crop in Malawi has led to reduced income opportunities and low access to food for many households.

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