Virginia Palmer
Virginia Palmer US Ambassador to Malawi

LILONGWE, August 19 – U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer today announced a new United States donation of US$47.46 million (MK35.6 billion) to Malawi to assist people in need of humanitarian food assistance. This is in response to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s (MVAC) report that 6.5 million Malawians need humanitarian food assistance to alleviate suffering through March 2017.

One month ago during her visit to Malawi the Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, announced the donation of US$20 million (MK15 billion).  Since October 2015, the U.S. Government has provided assistance through two food crises in Malawi totaling US$122.1 million (MK88 billion).

The UN World Food Program (WFP) and other international organizations will receive and distribute the United States’ food donation, which includes 14,200 metric tons of maize, 10,090 metric tons of beans, and 6,120 metric tons of vitamin A & D-fortified vegetable oil, as well as US$7 million to support the cost of distributing part of the maize donated by the Government of Malawi from its Strategic Grain Reserves. The remainder of the donation (US$26.06 million) will support agriculture recovery and nutrition activities in Malawi.

“We appreciate the meeting HE President Mutharika convened on August 12.  We were pleased with the opportunity to discuss how Malawi’s current agricultural and export policies make Malawi over reliant on subsistence farmers who are most vulnerable to climate change for food production,” Ambassador Palmer said.

The Ambassador added that the U.S. will continue to work with the Government of Malawi to break the cycle of food insecurity by providing assistance to help Malawi to honor its New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition commitments. This includes a review of the Control of Goods Act, which has inhibited investment in food production, and the drafting of a Seed Bill that is consistent with Malawi’s SADC seed harmonization obligations to enhance farmer access to quality seeds from across the region.

“Together we recognize that policy and market predictability are critical if Malawi’s farmers are to become entrepreneurs, if agribusinesses are to invest, and if Malawi is to transform its agriculture sector from a source of vulnerability into an engine for growth,” Ambassador Palmer said.

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