The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has called on councils in the country to fully prepare for the 2022/2023 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Programme (LS-FIRP).
The programme is expected to commence in November 2022 to March 2023 and will provide food assistance to 3.8 million in 27 districts and four cities as projected by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report.
Speaking in Blantyre on Wednesday when he opened the meeting with councils in the southern region, Director of Response and Recovery, Rev Moses Chimpepo said the meeting was organised to share with councils DoDMA’s planned events in undertaking the exercise.
Chimphepo said it was important that the department meets with councils to deliberate on the developed national food insecurity response plan that will help mobilize and effectively coordinate the humanitarian assistance for the food insecure households and the nitty gritty of the programme.
“This meeting has among others, emphasized on the need for stakeholders including district councils and the local development and civil protection committees to abide by the humanitarian principles of neutrality and impartiality as well as transparency and accountability in the implementation of the exercise.
“There is need for councils to work with speed and be thorough in household targeting, registration and verification to avoid chaos and ensure smooth and successful implementation of the programme,” said Chimphepo.
He said the discussions will also provide good feedback that will enrich DoDMA’s planning and implementation arrangements,” said Chimphepo.
He urged councils to stick to time frames for the roadmaps so that there are no delays adding that the department has asked for prepositioning sites which he hoped that all councils will submit in time.
He said: “Just a reminder to all councils and responsible officers that there will be need for plausible utilization of funds that will be disbursed to councils and financial reporting and liquidation of funds,” said Chimphepo.
Speaking on behalf of all councils, Director of Planning and Development (DPD)for Zomba District Council, Precious Katsitsi commended the department for the interface meetings saying they will help them in their preparations.
Katsitsi said the interface meetings have given them energy to be on their toes and promised that councils will take heed of everything shared and deliver accordingly.
He said that there were a lot of issues such as verifying names of beneficiaries drawn from the Unified Beneficiary Registry (UBR) just to make sure that only those households deserving the assistance are the ones benefitting.
“The lean season programme is one of the biggest exercises councils undertake every year. Our performance last year was remarkable. We are very hopeful that this year we will do better than last year,” said Katsitsi.
He thanked the department for the unwavering support rendered to councils from time to time aimed at making sure that councils are delivering.
Government will lead the coordination and implementation of the response programme through DoDMA and the district councils.
In closing, Chimphepo also urged the councils to plan and put in place measures to address the foreseeable impacts of disasters that might be experienced during the season.
The response programme will be implemented through two modalities namely; cash transfers and in- kind maize distribution. The cash transfers have been currently pegged at MK25,000.00 per household; per month; while households targeted under maize distribution would be reached out to with a 50kg bag per month.
Same meetings have been conducted in the central and northern regions.
In the photo, a beneficially of the 2021/22 LS-FIRP takes a rest after arriving from a maize distribution point in Salima District.