Vertical Expansion of Social Protection Program

Publication Date: 15/05/2018

For the last nine years, Malawi has been supporting on average 1.73 million people each year with emergency food assistance, i.e. about 10% of its population. With widespread chronic poverty and high vulnerabilities, even predictable, recurrent lean seasons and minor weather variations develop into emergencies. Humanitarian actors including UN agencies and NGOs, repeatedly step-in to cover needs.

Poor households are often some of the most vulnerable to disasters. Poor people are among the groups most exposed to and suffering from shocks, including drought or floods: Limited livelihood options, resources, and access to services, mean that these households are often the least able to withstand shocks, and therefore prone to food insecurity, especially without resorting to negative coping mechanisms.

New and more sustainable ways of preventing and addressing recurrent food crises have to be found. An international humanitarian system, which is under strain by ever longer lasting crises, affecting more people, cannot sustainably respond to needs that largely result from chronic poverty. It is designed to support countries overwhelmed by a shock, to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity during and in the aftermath of disasters. It also aims at preventing and supporting preparedness for the occurrence of such situations, through Disaster Risk Reduction measures.[24 page case study]

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