Oxfam launches emergency Malawi food crisis appeal in Scotland

Oxfam Scotland today launched an emergency appeal to provide urgent help to millions of people in Malawi affected by drought. Southern Africa’s worst drought in 35 years has been caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Oxfam is calling on the people of Scotland to donate urgently to support communities in Malawi. The first £70,000 donated by the public will be matched pound for pound by the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund.

Donate to the Oxfam Malawi appeal: https://oxf.am/Z2pA


Oxfam in Malawi’s Country Director, John Makina said: “As a result of drought, 6.5 million people in Malawi are facing severe food shortages: that’s 40 percent of the population.

“This figure includes around 975,000 children under two years old who are at particularly high risk of malnutrition.

“Oxfam is working in coordination with the Government of Malawi and other agencies to reach the most vulnerable people, focusing on ‘hotspot’ areas with food shortages and households most in need. But we can’t do this without the support of the international community.”

Donations from the people of Scotland, boosted by the Scottish Government, will contribute to the £12 million Oxfam needs to reach 650,000 people across five districts in Malawi with life saving humanitarian aid, as well as long term support to build farmers’ resilience against future shocks. Currently Oxfam’s response is under-funded.

Head of Oxfam Scotland, Jamie Livingstone, said: “Scotland has a deep and long-lasting connection with Malawi and we are urging people here to give what they can to support Malawians at this critical time.

“The Scottish Government has generously offered to match donations from the public up to £70,000 – so any donations made by Oxfam supporters in Scotland will have twice the impact.

“Hunger isn’t inevitable. Lives can be saved and livelihoods restored in Malawi. But we must act together now to ensure that help reaches those who desperately need it.”

In addition to the emergency response, Oxfam is working with thousands of small holder farmers, particularly women, in Malawi as part of a three-year project funded by the Scottish Government. The project is addressing the inter-related challenges of economic insecurity and access to energy. However, poor harvests for the last two years, as a result of the El Nino weather system, mean that millions of people in Malawi are going without food, skipping meals or selling what they can in order to buy food.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland remains committed to being a good global citizen and to assisting developing countries, such as Malawi, in addressing the challenges they face, which is why we are match funding, up to £70,000, every pound raised by Oxfam Scotland’s public appeal until 31 October.

“I would encourage everyone to consider supporting Oxfam Scotland’s efforts to assist the people of Malawi at this crucial time.”

Donate to the Oxfam Malawi appeal: https://oxf.am/Z2pA