The Government of India on Monday, 26th October, 2020 donated 1,000 metric tonnes (about 20,000 bags each weighing 50kg) of rice valued at US$700,000 (about MK 528 million) to assist Malawi in reaching out to over 2.6 million food-insecure people.
Speaking in Lilongwe during the official handover ceremony of the donation, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Anurag Bhushan said the donation signifies the goodwill and cordial relationship that exists between the two governments and hoped that it will go a long way towards supporting vulnerable households amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The donation is in support of Malawi’s efforts in meeting recent food shortage which has been caused by acts of nature and aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Bhushan, whose government donated US$ 2 million-worth medicine in July, 2020, to assist Malawi in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
In her remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma described the donation as timely.
“The 2020 food security assessment report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) has projected 2.6 million people as requiring humanitarian food assistance during the lean season from November, 2020 to March, 2021.
“Government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, in collaboration with humanitarian partners, is finalizing the development of the 2020/2021 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Plan to mobilize resources and effectively coordinate the response to the food insecure communities.
“The food shortage has been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The donation comes at the right time and it will complement government’s efforts in mobilizing resources for the implementation of the 2020/2021 Food Insecurity Response Programme that will roll out in November, 2020,” said Nkusa Nkhoma.
The Deputy Minister further said government is making efforts to graduate from chronic food insecurity by stepping up interventions that will contribute to resilience building of the affected communities to break the food insecurity vicious cycle.
“To this extent, government, together with its partners is implementing the National Resilience Strategy which is meant to reduce the vulnerability of communities to different shocks including floods and prolonged dry spells which lead to food insecurity,” said Nkusa Nkhoma.
Government through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, on Saturday, 3rd October, 2020 provided financial support towards funeral arrangements to families whose relations died in a road accident on Friday at Mlanda, in Ntcheu District.
Thirteen people died and four sustained various degree of injuries when a Yutong Bus collided with a Toyota Hiace Minibus at around 9pm. The four were rushed to Dedza District Hospital, which referred a five-year-old critically injured child to Kamuzu Central Hospital. Government has also provided financial support to the injured.
Speaking when he visited the injured at Dedza District Hospital, Deputy Director of Disaster Response and Recovery Dyce Nkhoma said government was deeply saddened by the accident.
Nkhoma, who was in the company of District Commissioners for Ntcheu [Gift Matewere] and Dedza [Emmanuel Bulukutu] wished the injured a quick recovery.
On his part, Matewere narrated his life experience saying he was once involved in an accident which left him with a fractured arm.
“I was involved in a road accident some six years ago, at Dwangwa in Nkhotakota and I got healed. I am optimistic that you too, will make it,” said Matewere.
One of the injured person’s story is traumatic. At the time of the accident, she was heading to Ntcheu aboard the minibus, in the company of her husband and her two and five –year-old sons, to attend to her late bother’s funeral ceremony.
Both her husband and the two-year-old child died on the spot, while the five-year-old, who was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital, died in the wee hours of Sunday, 4th October, 2020. Following the demise of the five-year-old child, death toll in the accident has risen to 14.