Malawi - Bishops' appeal: Over six million people at risk of hunger
Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "Our hospitals are already reporting higher rates of malnutrition cases with the situation feared to worsen as we approach what we normally call the lean period" warn the Bishops of Malawi, in a statement in which they are appealing to local, national, and international bodies as well as individuals to come to the aid of over six million Malawians affected by food insecurity.
The Bishops' Conference, in the text sent to Fides, also quote US$ 307.5million as the amount the country requires to support the affected population. In April 2016, President Mutharika declared a state of national disaster over food shortages attributed to erratic climate conditions, in particular to the severe drought which affected the crops.
The Bishops, challenge the government to particularly implement the "National Resilience Plan, which is aimed at breaking the cycle of food insecurity". "Our plea is that we should not just have mouthful and beautiful policies that translate into nothing", the Bishops state, who propose to "consider reforming the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) to ensure support for rural farmers".
The Bishops also express the need for the government to restore the dilapidated agricultural infrastructure, prioritize water harvesting mechanism for irrigation. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/07/2016)