AFRICA/MALAWI - Millions suffer hunger due to devastating El Nino impact

Friday, 3 June 2016 hunger  

Direct Relief

Blantyre (Agenzia Fides) – Almost half the population of l Malawi is battling against severe famine due to scarce or no harvests because of the effects of El Nino which last year affected most of the country’s southern and northern regions. Torrential rains in the north aggravated already dramatic situations, and in the month of April a state of emergency was declared. In the meantime food prices continue to rise as Malawi’s national Kwacha, continues to lose value forcing the poorest families to further reduce their already precarious number of daily meals, or sell goods in order to make ends meet.
According to reports sent to Fides, a sack of maize usually costing 7 dollars, at the moment is sold at 15 dollars. As always, the children are the first to suffer. Figures on Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) show a 100% increase between December 2015 and January 2016. UNICEF registered 4,300 cases of severe malnutrition in the month of January this year, double the number of cases registered in December 2015. (AP) (3/6/2016 Agenzia Fides)