Malawi is a largely agricultural country with the majority of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Climate change and the HIV/AIDs epidemic are having devastating effects on people and communities, with flooding and drought increasing the risk of famine for millions of people.
A landlocked low income country, over 70% of Malawi’s population live on less than $1.09 (£1.40) a day. 80% of Malawi’s economy relies upon produce from smallholder farmers yet with the increased threat of climate induced events such as floods and droughts in line with the increasing impact of climate change is resulting in high inflation and high food prices. As a result, the livelihoods of many families are fragile and increasingly vulnerable.
With over a quarter of income based on agriculture, climate-induced disaster poses a huge problem to local families. With extremely limited options to earn a livelihood when agriculture fails, families have few options to earn an income and provide food for their families.
For many people in Malawi life can be particularly challenging:
- Malawi has the 9th highest infection rate of HIV worldwide (UN World Food Programme, 2018)
- Around 57% of the population are illiterate (UNESCO, 2015)
- Only 10% of children attend secondary school (UNICEF, 2013)
- 37% of children under the age of five are stunted (UN World Food Programme, 2017)
Islamic Relief in Malawi
Islamic Relief Malawi was established in 2006, following an official presidential request for international humanitarian support.
We distribute food and improve water, sanitation and irrigation facilities. We also work in partnership with local communities to improve livelihoods through skills training and agricultural inputs, including building ponds for fish farming to increase their ability to cope with drought. We have implemented projects to provide clean drinking water where local populations have very limited access to water and regular food distributions.
We also support educational activities, including the rehabilitation and improvement of schools to promote school attendance and the development of Malawi’s younger generation. During Ramadan additional special food distributions are also implemented in drought affected districts.