This is an in-depth analysis of the enabling environment for early action in Malawi. Malawi is extremely vulnerable and exposed to a range of climatic shocks in southern Africa, especially to severe drought induced by the occurrence of a possible El Niño event. In 2015-2016, Malawi’s agriculture season experienced a late onset of rains, prolonged dry spells, and incidence of floods across regions of the country. The severe drought was exacerbated by El Niño and Malawi experienced its worst food security crisis in over a decade leading the Government of Malawi (GoM) to declare a state of disaster in April 2016. The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), which delivers humanitarian assistance in shock prone areas, indicated a total 6.7 million (an estimated 40 percent of the total population) were severely affected and faced chronic or acute food security.
To conclude, Malawi’s high exposure to weather and climate risks combined with high levels of poverty, food insecurity and reliance on rain-fed agriculture, dry spells and floods lead to emergencies on a regular basis. And despite the frequency of the crises, they are managed individually. AA is therefore only a small yet vital part of the solution. Breaking this recurrent cycle of crises will require a transformative shift in policy and development support, from frequent and costly humanitarian responses to a greater emphasis on DRR and preparedness. AA pilots need to be connected to longer-term resilience investments that address the root causes of chronic poverty and build sustainable strategies for adapting to climate change.