Malawi is vulnerable to a range of both rapid and slow-onset shocks, the most common of which include flooding, prolonged dry spells, strong winds and pest or disease outbreaks, all of which compromise food security over long periods of time. Geographically, the Lower Shire and Lake Shore districts have long been considered the country's most disaster-prone areas.
Since the 1980s, Malawi has experienced eight major droughts, affecting more than 24 million people. The majority of these drought episodes have co-incided with El Niño years, during which the country experiences a significant rainfall deficit.
As a short-term solution, Gift of the Givers provides food parcels to vulnerable families and makes available agricultural inputs, capable of catering for both summer and winter crops, which interventions have promoted improved sustainability and food security.
As part of our long-term solution, Gift of the Givers is responsible for the regular drilling of boreholes and the construction of irrigation schemes in rural communities, so as to reduce the reliance on rain for agriculture.
In the interest of responding quickly and effectively to flood situations, Gift of the Givers partners with the country's Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), which body is responsible for co-ordinating the efforts of Government and NGOs in responding to unfolding disasters.
Utilising the Department's Needs Assessment Report, we are able to gather crucial data regarding damage, the number of people affected, immediate needs and which other organisations have responded. All this enables us to orchestrate a rapid response, thus ensuring the greatest number of people are reached in the quickest time possible.
Gift of the Givers annually provides aid in the form of both food and non-food items, agricultural inputs, decent shelter and support for the livelihoods of people, the consequence of recurring disasters.