With an estimated population of 16.3 million people, Malawi is a land-locked country in southern Africa. Compared to other African nations, Malawi has a relatively low adult literacy rate of 62.7 percent. Malawi faces several social problems including poverty, where 90 percent of the population lives under US$2 a day, and a high HIV/AIDS infection rate. Malawi is also prone to repeated inundation by floods from continuous and heavy rainfalls.
The Hunger Project has been working in Malawi since 1999 and is currently reaching partners in Malawi in eight epicenter communities that include about 190 villages. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicenter Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with partners to successfully access the basic services needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and lead lives of self-reliance.
Increasing Food Security
Malawi is a country that is prone to natural disasters, suffering from both extreme drought to heavy rainfalls. As a result, the food supply situation in Malawi remains precarious.
To this end, The Hunger Project-Malawi empowers and supports farmers with trainings and materials to increase and diversify their food production. In these disaster prone areas, a key element of the Epicenter Strategy is the community food banks. The Hunger Project-Malawi has also inaugurated a system of land irrigation to increase and diversity food production.
Improving Health and Hygiene
Epicenter health centers provide primary health care and immunizations, and teach men and women how to improve their health and hygiene. In Malawi, where there is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and malaria, The Hunger Project-Malawi conducts training of traditional birth attendants, mobilizes animators to provide bed-nets and implements HIV/AIDS voluntary counseling and testing programs in epicenter communities. More than 215,000 people have participated in THP-Malawi's HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshop.
Through its Microfinance Program in the first half of 2012, The Hunger Project disbursed loans totaling $105,638. Partners in Malawi deposited $30,268 in savings during the year. Of the seven epicenters that are operating in Malawi, one has a government-recognized Rural Bank.