• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 4,830,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,130,000 People in Need [?]
  • 1,130,000 Moderate humanitarian conditions - Level 3 [?]



Food security is a pressing concern in Malawi largely as a result of chronic poverty and natural hazards such as drought and flooding. Across the country, more than 3.3 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC 3 and above), though this number is expected to decrease as the 2019 harvest season progresses.?Needs are the greatest in southern districts such as Mangochi, Chikwawa, and Dezda.

Approximately 50% of Malawi’s population falls below the poverty line and 25% live in extreme poverty, which increases vulnerability to food insecurity.?Periodic flooding is also an important driver of vulnerability to food insecurity, and frequently leads to the destruction of crops and productive assets when it occurs. In March 2019, heavy rains associated with Cyclone Idai caused widespread flooding in Southern Malawi, inundating large amounts of farmland only a few weeks before the start of the main harvest season.?More than 730,000 people are estimated in need of food assistance in flood-affected areas, and it is likely that flooding will continue to have a localised negative impact on food security and livelihoods into the future.?

Latest Developments


Food security among refugees in Malawi has deteriorated in recent months a result of decreased food rations being provided by humanitarian agencies and new arrivals from surrounding countries.  In May, as a result of significant funding gaps, WFP cut food rations for refugees and asylum seekers by half. At the same time, the number of refugees has increased by approximately 2000 since the beginning of the year. The total population of refugees in Malawi is approximately 40,000, almost all of whom originate from DRC and Burundi and are hosted in Dzaleka Camp.?



Food: Nationwide, 3.3 million people are in need of emergency food assistance. Mangochi, Chikwawa, and Dedza, are among the most affected districts.?

Information Gaps


Inconsistent data in the IPC analysis is a challenege for understanding humanitarian needs across the country. Likoma District is always excluded from food security anylyses because it is located on an island and is inaccessible.? 

There is limited information regarding illnesses caused by food insecurity or malnutrition as well as potential displacements caused by drought conditions.