The World Food Programme will share meals to 58,000 school children in Malawi to El’ Nino victims. ShareTheMeal app will help fundraize money to support the emergency food programme for the next one year following one of the strongest El’ nino events on record.
Through the free ShareTheMeal app, smartphone users will donate money from US $0.50 to provide food to a vulnerable child for a day. Estimations in Malawi show that for every US $1 spent on school meals, at least US $6 are returned in better health and productivity when these children become adults.
“Malawi is in an extremely vulnerable situation, with estimates showing that more than one in three people will be food insecure over the next nine months,” says Coco Ushiyama, WFP Country Director in Malawi. “People around the world who have enough to eat can easily imagine the terrible impact that hunger has on children in such a situation. I really encourage everyone to use the ShareTheMeal app and help now.”
ShareTheMeal joins what is set to become WFP’s largest emergency response in the country’s history, and even better with the aid of technology. It is estimated that 18 million people will require emergency assistance, with the food programme aiming to reach 11.9 million people with food assistance by early next year.
More than one third of children aged under five in Malawi are stunted (have low growth for their age) as a result of malnutrition. A Cost of Hunger in Africa study conducted in Malawi shows that child under nutrition costs Malawi more than 10% of Gross Domestic Product per annum.
Malawi also has high rates of HIV/AIDS infections and related deaths which have left many orphans and child-headed households. A quarter of Malawians live in poverty and the number of households experiencing food shocks increased from 20% to 83% from 2012 to 2014, according to latest national statistics. With the majority of livelihoods dependent on agriculture, the population is highly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters and food insecurity.