© UNICEF Malawi/2008

Two-and-a-half-year old Brenda Jumbe’s height is measured at Chiwamba Health Centre. About half of all under-five children in Malawi are stunted, the result of inadequate food and chronic diseases.


The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) estimates that 1,490,146 people or 14 per cent of the total population will be at risk of food insecurity in the 2008/2009 lean season, which takes place approximately during the months of November to February. This is three times as much people at risk as compared to the previous lean season (November 2007 to February 2008). High food prices are posing serious problems to household food security. Likely, children and pregnant women would suffer the greatest consequences. High malnutrition rates, high HIV and AIDS prevalence rates, as well as other diseases remain significant challenges, especially in flood-prone areas – and without adequate intervention, the situation is likely to worsen in 2009.


UNICEF is cluster lead for nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and child protection subclusters. In 2009, UNICEF aims to provide assistance to affected families in all flood-prone areas of Malawi.

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment to flood-prone districts; distribute 15,000 impregnated mosquito nets to 95 nutritional rehabilitation units; support 400 community-based therapeutic feeding centres benefiting 40,000 children; and support the bi-annual ‘Child Health and Sanitation Week’ aiming at providing access to high-impact interventions for 2 million children aged 6–59 months.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF will provide 25,000 displaced persons with safe water and sanitation by constructing/rehabilitating wells and sanitary facilities; train 100 local water authority management teams in water and sanitation assessments; and promote hygiene education and hygiene awareness programmes for 30,000 children in 50 schools and for 30 local communities.

Education: UNICEF will provide 16,000 displaced and flood-affected children and teachers with basic school materials and distribute recreational kits for 10,000 schoolchildren; train 150 primary schoolteachers; rehabilitate schools and construct five permanent classroom blocks to accommodate 600 primary schoolchildren as a recovery response.

Child Protection: UNICEF will produce materials on child protection to prevent the exploitation of children in line with the ‘Stop Child Abuse’ campaign for national coverage; produce radio programmes, including the radio version of ‘A Trolley Full of Rights’ to raise awareness on child abuse; train humanitarian relief workers and Malawi Police officers to provide a protective environment and prevent violence/abuse; and conduct regular monitoring and detailed assessment of the situation of children and women in camps in the affected areas.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 3,000,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 1,300,000
Education 225,000
Child Protection 500,000
Total** 5,025,000

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other, underfunded emergencies.
** The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.