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Appeal For $88 Million In Emergency Food - Malawi

14 September 2005

UN Humanitarian Chief Appeals For $88 Million In Emergency Food For Malawi

More than 4.2 million Malawians will need $88 million in emergency humanitarian assistance consisting of food and nutritional aid over the next six months, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland said today.

"I am very glad to see some of the humanitarian community's most consistent donors have responded to the Appeal so promptly," said Mr. Egeland, "but there is still a long way to go."

Already some $13 million in cash and 30,000 tons of food have been pledged by the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Ireland. But $51 million in food and nutritional assistance, and $37 million in emergency agricultural assistance is needed to help the government ease the chronic food insecurity the nation now faces, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates.

More is urgently needed from donors especially "among the Asian, Latin American, and Gulf States, in order to avert hunger and to promote sustainable recovery of livelihoods around the region," added Mr. Egeland.

Of particular concern is the timing of donations, since Malawian farmers will soon begin planting next year's crops. With a shortfall of $29 million needed for planting, this could mean that many of the one million small farms targeted by the Appeal may not have enough maize seed and fertilizer to ensure they can produce enough food for 2006.

Malawi is just one of the several African nations now facing a critical phase in their chronic food insecurity, including Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where some 10 million people are likely to require food assistance in the coming months.

ENDS

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