News / Africa

Oxfam Gives Cash to Malawians Affected by Hunger

Lameck Masina
In Malawi, the international developmentl NGO Oxfam has launched a project that seeks to avert hunger situation facing millions of people.

Under the Integrated Emergency Cash Transfer Response Project, the NGO is giving money to hunger-stricken households to buy food. 

The move is part of the response to a recent report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, or MVAC, for 2012/2013.  It shows that about two million households are facing food shortages largely because of erratic rains and draught during the last growing season.

The three month project was launched in Mthilamanja area in the southern district of Mulanje and is targeting about 6,000 households there.  Specifically singled out for help are 40,000 households in three areas of Mulanje, Nsanje and Salima districts.  
John Makina is the country director Oxfam.

"The Cash Transfer Program we have launched [in Mulanje]," he explained, "is part of a wider [national] response to food insecurity. [This is part of our work] together with other partners and government at the national level [like Concern Worldwide, Goal Project and Save the Children]."

The beneficiaries are receiving a monthly cash of about $ US 40 until the next harvest season for buying food and other basic daily needs.

The money is delivered to the beneficiaries through different money transfer systems, including mobile phones, courier services and mobile banks.

Gertrude Gonan, a widow who is one of the beneficiaries in the Mthilamanja area, says the money has helped her family in many ways.

“I fall sick often," she says, "so I have been using my son to cultivate in the field, as a result he has been absent from school. So apart from buying food I will be using the money for hiring people to help me cultivate the maize field so that I should have a bumper harvest this year.”

Not everyone is happy.  One of them is a businessman Austin M’ndunga.

“I totally disagree with [the program], because it encourages laziness," he says. "[Some] villagers don’t use it in a proper way; [some] are busy drinking beer with it because it’s not a large amount of money that can really make [a difference].”

M’ndunga says it would better if the program taught skills that would help people earn a living, rather than giving them money.

But Makina disagrees:

 “For us the challenge is not [a shortage of food]," he asserts. "We have food in the country.  The challenge is basically its distribution. If you give cash,  you [help] make the markets function [and]  food will be distributed from food surplus areas to food deficit areas.”

The MVAC report indicates that Malawi has a surplus of 800,000 tons of maize that will last until the next harvest.

Other African countries benefiting from the Oxfam-funded cash transfer program include Somalia, Niger and Sudan.

Listen to report on Oxfam's cash transfer program in Malawi
Listen to report on Oxfam's cash transfer program in Malawii
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs