Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Flooding could aggravate the situation of thousands of families already struggling with food shortages in Malawi, reports children’s charity Plan International.
Heavy rain is forecast over the next two months, which could displace 162,000 families, affecting nearly 600,000 children.
It comes after erratic rains affected food production in the northern, central and southern regions, leaving more than 1.8 million people hungry.
“The affected districts will have annual food deficits ranging from two to five months with thousands of tonnes of food required,” says Lilly Omondi, Plan’s Country Director in Malawi.
“The number of people in need of assistance is likely to increase as people’s livelihoods deteriorate,” she adds.
Plan, with support from the World Food Programme, has already distributed food to more than 26,000 hungry families. Further distributions are due to take place in Mzimba and Kusungu districts.
Aid workers are also undertaking child vulnerability and nutrition assessments to gauge the impact on child health.
Meanwhile, eight districts are expected to be affected by flooding over the coming weeks.
Plan will be supporting people in Mulanje district where the flooding could displace up to 8,000 families including 36,000 children.
There is expected to be a need for food, water, hygiene and water kits and shelter, among other items.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org