By Louis Kumchima, MANA
Donors have expressed satisfaction with the progress made by government in responding to the food insecurity situation in the 2019/2020 season.
Donor partners who assist with funding towards lean-season response and Social Cash Transfers, which among others include Department for International Development (DfID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Irish Aid in collaboration with Plan Malawi International, made the sentiments when they toured Ulongwe in Balaka District.
DfID Country Director, Dave Beer said on Thursday after the tour that the programmes were progressing well.
The tour aimed at giving chance to the country’s financiers to appreciate the distribution of cash to vulnerable people in Balaka District.
“We have seen people very organised during the distribution and I managed to interact with vulnerable people who have received the cash. They talked on how the programme has transformed their lives,” Beer said.
On his part, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Jane Mkandawire said the distribution was categorised into vertical and horizontal expansion.
“In vertical expansion, we top up support to the Social Cash Transfer beneficiaries, while Horizontal expansion is a lean season support to new beneficiaries that have been identified in the district because of the hunger situation.
“For us as government, we are very happy and appreciative our partners’ [support].
“Apart from regular support of Social Cash Transfer, they saw it necessary to intervene when government requested them to top up money for the lean season.
“So, each beneficially is receiving K23,000 on top of their normal cash transfers,” she said.
District Commissioner for Balaka, Emmanuel Bambe applauded the organisations for coming to the district’s rescue, saying the support has lessened the hunger situation that he said affected 77,000 households in the district.
The 2019/2020 lean season food insecurity response was introduced following the impact of Cyclone Idai and dry spells.