WFP Aims To Help Malawi People Affected By HIV/AIDS

Armen Hareyan's picture

The World Food Programme over the next three years hopes to raise $103 million for a relief program in Malawi aimed at people affected by HIV/AIDS and natural disasters, WFP officials said on Monday, Reuters Africa reports. According to Mathews Nyirenda, WFP information officer, WFP earlier this month approved the relief program, which is scheduled to run from January 2008 to December 2010. "With this approval, WFP can now start raising $103 million to source about 215,000 metric tons of maize to feed an estimated 1.2 million people for three years," Nyirenda said (Reuters Africa, 10/30).


WFP last month also announced that it will almost double food handouts to people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi after receiving maize donations from the government. Before the donation, WFP was providing monthly food assistance to more than 110,000 people living with HIV/AIDS and about 1,500 malnourished women and children in the country. The agency in a statement said that with the donation, it will be able to provide food for up to 203,000 Malawians in November and December.

Malawi has had two consecutive good harvests, producing 3.4 million tons of maize last year -- 1.3 million tons more than it needed. The rising production has prompted the government to donate 10,425 tons of maize to WFP for Malawi and another 10,000 tons to Lesotho and Swaziland. The government also plans to sell about 400,000 tons of excess maize to Zimbabwe, which is experiencing an inflation rate of 7,600%, high unemployment and chronic food shortages (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/18).

"This program will help significantly in reducing the hunger of vulnerable groups and, just as importantly, strengthen the communities' ability to cope with the added stresses associated with natural disasters and HIV/AIDS," Dom Scalpelli, WFP country director in Malawi, said. According to Reuters Africa, the effort to raise funds faces a funding shortfall of $18 million from January 2008 to June 2008 (Reuters Africa, 10/30).

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