In the midst of Malawi’s food shortage spell, the People’s Republic of China has given the country a bountiful of rice quantified in the ranges of 6000 metric tonnes.
The donation was officially received by Malawi leader Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika at a function held at Kamuzu Palace on Thursday.
Malawi is facing a prolonged food shortage spell due to an El Niño that has resulted in prolonged dry spells mostly in the Southern Region and parts of the Central Region, while the Northern Region experienced flooding.
These natural calamities led to a maize production deficit of 790,000 metric tonnes, and affected 8.4 million people.
According to agriculture experts, of these affected population, 6.5 million people will require emergency food assistance, from now until March next year.
The donation comes as result to a Presidential declaration of State of Disaster in the affected districts coupled with an appeal for assistance from local and international well-wishers.
Receiving the donation on behalf of his people, President Mutharika expressed unmeasured gratitude towards the people and government of China for their urgent and timely gesture.
“I want to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the timely donation of rice they have made to the People of Malawi. Thank you China. You have indeed shown that you are a friend in deed to Malawi,” said the President when he received the first 2000 metric tonnes of the donation.
He was quick to mention that Malawi still needs well over US$200 million to avert the hunger.
As a way of taking responsibility Government of Malawi has set aside US$ 50 million for maize importation towards humanitarian response.
President Mutharika said his government through Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) will ensure that the price of maize is stabilized and that maize is available in all ADMARC markets across the country.
In addition government is also prioritising winter cropping among many other efforts with an objective that no one should die of hunger.