Thank you for your continued support of our mission to change people’s lives. At Deki we always strive to bring you positive news however, this isn’t always possible as we work in very challenging situations.
Earlier this year our field partners Temwa reported directly about the food crisis currently occurring in Malawi and across all of Southern Africa due to lack of rain.
In Malawi the rainy season usually begins at the end of November, this is when many families rely on growing their food crops for the year. Often also called ‘the hunger season’, this is when farmers will have run out of their own crops from the previous season and have no savings to buy more. Many families will typically surviving on one meal a day.
The later the rain arrives the later Malawians will begin planting their crops of maize and cassava; which then in turn means the crops have less time to grow. The drought this year means crops are failing and unbearably there will be no food or income for many households in Malawi.
Sadly, the situation is not improving and fears of food shortage have prompted the Malawian President to declare a state of national disaster. They are experiencing the worst food crisis the country has seen in years and it is very likely that such shortages will be a reoccurring problem for the foreseeable future.
Our field partner, Temwa have therefore decided to focus their resources into aid and other strategies to get people back on their feet and are working hard with emergency organisations to offer vital support. Upon the advice of Temwa, who work on the ground in Malawi, we will only be administering loans to people who are not dependent on agriculture. Unfortunately, in situations like this, microfinance is not the best solution. Therefore, over the next 6-12 months you will only see a very small number of loans in Malawi for people that are suitable to receive them. We will continue to work hard with Temwa in order to be able to support them in re-instating our micro-finance programme back to full capacity.
Looking towards long-term resilience, Temwa plans to complement the current activities in order to address the evolving food crisis in Nkhata Bay North, and to build resilience of the most vulnerable households and communities. Additional mitigation activities, such as diversification to drought resistance drops, have been planned. These aim to enable as many households as possible to rapidly return to previous or enhanced levels of livelihood and productivity. The immediate aim is to help as many families as possible to achieve food security by early 2017.
Thankfully, there is much better news in the other countries where Deki works and due to your incredible support and the growing of Deki’s lender base, we are seeing a 50% year on year increase of the number of loans available each month.