Lilongwe, Malawi … “I turned the page on the Sunday edition of the NATION newspaper and drew in a quick breath. The story glared back at me. It was a report on the ongoing problems from cyclone Freddy. Remember Freddy? It is the cyclone that struck Malawi in March, the longest running cyclone in history, and catastrophic to the southern part of the country. The story continues concerning projected food goals UNICEF said would be necessary for the people to survive. The conclusion? They have failed.  The global appeal to help 5.9 million Malawians only reached 20% of its goal.”

Dick Stephens of the Malawi Project, currently in Malawi, continues the report. “The story goes on to warn because of the failure of the food goals there is a shortfall of a whopping 68 billion dollars, and this converts to the possibility of starvation for 2.95 million children. 2.95 million, I could hardly believe what I was looking at,” laments Stephens. “To add to the wound, as though there could be something that could add to possible starvation and death for 2.95 million children, the report goes on,”

“Adding to the food shortages is the cholera outbreak that has affected over 58,000 people and led to 1,763 deaths. While in some areas it has been reduced, there are still far too many cases in Chikwawa and Nsanje, two of the hardest hit districts by the cyclone,’ said the report.  

“I looked across to the next page from these two threats, and there was a story that indicates the 2023/24 crop production projections reflect a strong possibility for a critical food shortage because of the projected El Nino effect across the Southern Hemisphere.”

It is obvious food shipments need to begin quickly, but first must come the contributions. Because it takes four months for containers to travel from mid-America to Malawi, there is a need for all of us to step up now.

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