Plan of action for Malawi 2012-2016





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The Republic of Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world. The country is frequently hit by disasters, with many people affected by shocks such as dry spells, flooding, crop and livestock diseases, high input prices, and unstable markets. These often result in the loss of lives, assets and support systems. According to the Malawi National Disaster Risk Management Policy document, the intensity and frequency of disasters has been increasing, in large part owing to climate change, population growth, urbanization and environmental degradation. The recurrence of rapid and slow-onset disasters in areas such as the Lower Shire makes recovery progressively more difficult for communities whose livelihoods are already weakened by poverty and other underlying socio-economic constraints. Although – for over five years – Malawi has been producing surplus staple food, some communities remain food and nutrition insecure owing to the impacts of various shocks. In addition, most smallholder farmers are yet to generate meaningful incomes from farming. This is in part due to the narrow range of enterprises they pursue, low productivity levels and poor market access. There is an urgent need to address vulnerability and disaster threats and impacts in Malawi, taking into account the underlying challenges faced by the affected and at-risk communities. A more coordinated and holistic approach is required to help them transition from emergency and relief assistance to longer-term development. The Government of Malawi, with support from development and other partners, is focusing on socio-economic development through strategies that include supporting the increased performance of the agriculture sector. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a key partner in Malawi’s growth and development objectives. As part of its Strategic Framework 2010–2019, FAO aims to strengthen disaster preparedness and improve linkages and transitions between emergency, rehabilitation and development. FAO uses the Plan of Action (PoA) as a tool to promote more integrated planning and coordination, and to guide a smooth transition from relief to development in disaster-prone and -affected countries. The current document provides details of the proposed PoA for Malawi. It describes FAO’s strategy to “bridge” emergency interventions to more medium- and long-term national development priorities and programmes for the next five years (2012–2016) in support of the Government and in partnership with key stakeholders.

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