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Funding to tackle food crisis doubled.
The Scottish Government will double its pledge to the humanitarian emergency situation in Malawi caused by the devastating floods and recent droughts, International Development Minister Alasdair Allan announced today.
Following a funding pledge of up to £230,000 in July this year, Scottish Ministers are now making a further £240,000 available on a match funding basis to Oxfam, Christian Aid, SCIAF and EMMS International.
Around a third of the population of Malawi, nearly 7 million people, is at risk of food insecurity this year; this is more than the entire population of Scotland.
The additional funding is being made available from the Climate Justice Fund. It will be used to support some of the poorest families in Malawi to survive the food crisis over the next few months, supplying at least 25,000 people, including severely malnourished children and people living with HIV, with basic food supplies, as well as with drought-resistant seeds to help them prepare for the longer term.
Speaking at Mbengo village in Balaka District, where Christian Aid are delivering a Scottish Government-funded food aid project, Dr Allan said:
"There is no doubt that the poor and vulnerable are the first to be affected by climate change and will suffer the most despite the fact they have done little to cause the problem. For people in Malawi climate change threatens all aspects of their lives including access to water, food, a home, an education and economic development. This is why the Scottish Government continues to champion climate justice at home and abroad and why we increased our climate justice funding to £3 million per year this year.
"With almost a third of the population facing food insecurity which is more than the entire population of Scotland, this additional funding will make a real difference on the ground. It will help those most vulnerable to climate change and empowering groups to alleviate food insecurity. During this visit to Malawi I have been heartened to see how Scottish aid agencies reach out to the people of Malawi to share knowledge and expertise."
Chief Executive of EMMS International, James Wells said:
"We know that hunger hits the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. Our partners in Malawi are seeing the impact of hunger in the lives of their patients, including an increase in child malnutrition. The situation is becoming increasingly urgent, and will last well into 2017. This additional funding is wonderful news for the most vulnerable in Malawi including orphans, palliative care families and those living with HIV. We're grateful to the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland and beyond for their friendship and generosity to the people of Malawi."
Head of Christian Aid Scotland, Sally Foster-Fulton said:
"We welcome the extension of match-funding for our Malawi appeal. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the Scottish government, we will be able to extend our reach to those struggling from one of the worst food shortages in a decade."
Director for SCIAF, Alistair Dutton said:
"Millions of people who are already extremely poor and vulnerable are suffering badly because of the food crisis in East and Southern Africa. Malawi is one of the countries that has been hit the hardest. Families are going hungry every day.
"Thanks to the generosity of the Scottish Government and our supporters, 16,000 people, particularly severely malnourished children, pregnant women and lactating mothers, will get life-saving food. Over 31,000 poor families will get seeds, training and support so they can grow food for the next harvest, start supporting themselves again and cope with the challenges climate change is creating for them."
More information about the Climate Justice Fund is available here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/International/int-dev/climatejustice