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JAWS OF HUNGER

Lilongwe, Malawi … On Sunday 12 June 2016, the Nation Newspaper Sunday edition blasted this warning across its front page in large black letters; MORE CAUGHT IN THE JAWS OF HUNGER.

This is nothing new to village people who are suffering from the intense famine caused primarily by too little rain in some areas, too much rain in others, the devaluation of the Kwacha that dropped it to half its pre-devaluation value, and the failure to have adequate funds, or resources to plan an escape from the oncoming problem.

Estimates earlier in the year, by the government of 2.8 million people facing starvation were seriously underestimated. Even that figure, for a nation of slightly less that 18 million, bought a declaration of a State of Emergency. The most current estimates, that of 8.4 million facing a food shortage, at the least a full 39% of the total population of the nation signals a catastrophic situation looming just over the horizon, if aid is not forthcoming.

The Malawi Project, Universal Aid, and World Emergency Relief have teamed up with their contributors in an attempt to stem the tide of suffering in a number of districts in Malawi. Food is being purchased locally when possible, while 40-foot trailers of food are being sent from the U.S. to arrive in Malawi and feed those most vulnerable. The Project is not new to this type situation because of its efforts and network of support during the 2002-03 famine when over a million dollars in food assistance was made available to the country.

PRISON STORES OUT OF FOOD

Lilongwe, Malawi … What greater nightmare can you have than to be a prison official and have someone run to tell you the prison stores are out of food, none is on the way, and you have 2,000 prisoners who depend on you to feed them? Perhaps a greater nightmare is not the one for the officials themselves, but the dreaded fear that grips the inmates when they realize the food supplies are running out.

In a frontpage story in the DAILY TIMES newspaper on 10 June 2016 the newspaper reported prisoners in the Zomba prison expressing some degree of rebellion over the food shortage. The paper, established in 1895 revealed the institution has run out of funds to feed the prisoners, last paying its food suppliers in November 2015. The suppliers have had to suspend food shipments until the back bills are caught up.

The food shortage is also affecting other prisons, according to Josephine Chinele, the reporter who broke the story. According to her inmates in some of the prisons are eating only 1 meal a day.

The Malawi Project, World Emergency Relief, and Universal Aid in Canada are sending food to a warehouse in southern Malawi for assistance to be given to the prison system. Not only will food be given, but one of the innovative walk behind tractors will soon be donated to the largest prison in the country to assist them to raise food themselves.

With the support site - ivmar.net (photo and video production)