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

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

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

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs