LILONGWE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes an additional EUR 500,000 (MWK 623 million) contribution from the Government of France, which will be used to provide home-grown school meals for children and food assistance to refugees in Malawi. This brings France’s contribution to WFP in Malawi to EUR 1 million in 2023 (MWK 1.2 billion).
Malawi is approaching the peak of the lean season and food insecurity is expected to worsen from now up to March. The contribution from France will be used to provide daily school meals to 18,000 school children across 17 primary schools and a market for approximately 600 local smallholder farmers who will supply fresh food to the schools. Additionally, 50,000 refugees will receive food assistance.
“Providing nutritious food to children at school at this critical time, when some households are running out of food, will ensure learners attend school, concentrate in classes and eat nutritious, diversified meals. The continuation of food assistance to refugees is crucial for their nutrition and health,” says Paul Turnbull, WFP’s Country Director in Malawi. “We thank the Government of France for this timely support.”
Some 4.4 million people, equivalent to 22 percent of the population, are facing acute food insecurity as the lean season sets in, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, and refugees in Dzaleka Camp are receiving reduced food rations due to funding shortfalls.
“France is pleased to further its partnership with WFP and the Government of Malawi in responding to children’s nutrition needs,” said French Ambassador David Martinon. “The home-grown school feeding model increases access to education while enhancing business opportunities for farmers“.
Home-grown school meals have multiple benefits. They improve children’s nutrition, boost school enrolment and attendance as well as inject much-needed money into local economies. Sustained assistance at the Dzaleka Refugee Camp is essential to help vulnerable populations purchase the food they need, preventing further food and nutrition insecurity in the camp.
WFP provides daily school meals to over 675,000 children across 500 schools in rural communities as well as monthly food assistance to 50,000 refugees in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp. France’s invaluable support will go a long way towards the collective effort to end hunger in Malawi.