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Malawi Declares State of Disaster Amidst Worst Drought in Decades

by Thaabit Kamaar
Image Source: BBC

South Africa – Some days ago, Malawi declared a state of disaster due to the driest February in decades, severely impacting millions of farming households and the country’s food supply.

President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi emphasised the urgent need for humanitarian aid surpassing $200 million. 23 of the 28 districts have faced severe drought, which has significantly impacted the country’s harvest. He has also appealed to the international community for assistance in supplying the 600 ,000 metric tons of food aid required by the country.

Similarly, reports indicate that Zambia declared a national disaster last month because of the drought and sought humanitarian assistance. Zimbabwe, which has experienced significant crop losses, is also affected and contemplating a similar course of action.

The UN World Food Programme had previously cautioned about the severe global weather patterns associated with the El Niño phenomenon, foreseeing far-reaching implications for food security in multiple southern African nations.

Malawi has been consistently beset by extreme weather conditions with too much rain, as evidenced by last year’s devastating rainfall that claimed lives, destroyed lands, crops, and livestock, or too little.

The situation in Malawi appears increasingly dire. Skyrocketing inflation on essential goods makes them unaffordable for much of the population, as noted by the Regional Manager of the Africa Muslims Agency (AMA).

Hafiz Hussain Choonara suggests that all these factors have contributed to Malawi’s current food shortages and starvation crisis.

“Many villages right now are starving. If you say it correctly, they’re in the hunger season and starvation mode.”

The AMA’s Feed a Village Campaign

The AMA has been actively engaged in humanitarian efforts across South Africa and various countries globally. With a presence in Malawi for over four decades, they have played a significant role in supporting communities through multiple projects.

During their extensive time in Malawi, they have identified hundreds of villages and thousands of individuals in dire need of assistance.

As Ramadan unfolds, the urgent and critical circumstances facing millions of Muslims worldwide have become apparent. Many are facing severe food shortages, with some lacking adequate sustenance for Suhoor and Iftar.

In response, AMA has launched the Feed a Village campaign to ensure that every fasting individual has access to a meal. Achieving this objective relies on continuous support and donations from ordinary people willing to assist those in need.

“[I Have Been Filled with] Joy and excitement over the past four days, witnessing the joy of the people receiving the meals, whether in Malawi, South Africa or Gaza and the difference it makes to the fasting person. They fast every day, even outside of Ramadan, not by choice but because they don’t have. Allah knows that you have been part of this process irrespective of how much you donated.”

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