Act now to address Malawi’s looming food crisis

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BY JAN DUCHOSLAV, JOACHIM DE WEERDT, AND RODWELL MZONDE
OPEN ACCESS | CC-BY-4.0

Malawi is facing a severe drought crisis linked to the El Niño climate phenomenon. On March 23, President Lazarus Chakwera declared a state of disaster in 23 of Malawi’s 28 districts in anticipation of a poor harvest and appealed for more than $200 million in humanitarian assistance.

El Niño has brought about spells of dry weather across much of Southern Africa in recent months, leading to poor agronomic conditions in the current growing season and potentially severe impacts on harvests. In addition to Malawi, food crises are unfolding in neighboring Zambia and Zimbabwe, which have also declared national disasters. Poor El Niño-induced crop growing conditions are affecting harvests in other countries across the region, including Angola, Botswana, Madagascar, and Mozambique.

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