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WFP ROLLS OUT LEAN SEASON CASH, FOOD DISTRIBUTION  TO CYCLONE FREDDY SURVIVORS

The World Food Programme has rolled out lean season cash and food distribution to people who were affected by  Cyclone Freddy.

In Phalombe District a projected total of K1, 411, 650, 000  was disbursed to 9411 survivors each getting K150,000 to cover the months of November, December and January.

During the launch of the exercise the British High Commissioner to Malawi, Fiona Ritchie, said she was pleased to see to it that thousands of vulnerable individuals in the district would be alleviated from food stockouts.

“This area was cut off at the peak of  Cyclone Freddy and it was difficult to get here. I have been interacting with women to understand their plight and how the lean season cash distribution would benefit them. I can see for myself that this lean season is going to be the toughest for vulnerable Malawians hence the UK announced an extra £5 million to cushion the most vulnerable and it’s fantastic to see that amount making a difference today,” said Ritchie.

WFP Country Director, Paul Turnbull said the lean season cash distribution intervention is just for a short period but that will complement other interventions.

“We understand the plight of these households that they do not have sufficient food because they didn’t harvest enough due to the impact of Cyclone Freddy. The cash transfer intervention is just for a short period but there are complimentary interventions to rebuild the resilience of the households from such shocks,” said Turnbull.

Commenting on the development, Commissioner for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba, said the Department has been consistently supporting the survivors from March when the cyclone hit the area.

“You can see the rocks that have covered most fields here which means some people will fail to grow their food. We are trying to rehabilitate the areas. We have been giving them maize and other essentials but for November December and January, they are receiving K150,000 cash per individual.  We expect that they will use it for purchasing maize,  then we will be back in February for more support so that they rebuild their livelihoods,” said Kalemba.

One of the beneficiaries, Olive Joseph, a single mother of two from Traditional Authority Nkhulambe in the district, said the cash transfer is timely as she will buy maize bags in advance and concentrate her energies on tending her garden instead of food searches.

“I should appeal to WFP and other donor partners that they should continue rebuilding our lives till we harvest and become food secure,” said Joseph.

Tropical Storm Freddy affected over 2 million people and displaced over half a million as it washed away homes, roads and other infrastructure. WFP is implementing the lean season cash and food distribution with funding from USAID, UKAid, the German Government, Norway, Canada and the United Nations Emergency Response Fund.

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