Southern Africa is subject to multiple, frequent, and compounded shocks and stressors that prevent communities from fully recovering from crises, thereby deepening their vulnerability. This vulnerability was particularly exposed during the El Niño-induced drought in 2015-2016: the worst in the region for 35 years, it devastated local food systems and severely undermined the agriculture-based livelihoods of the region’s predominantly rural population.
Malawi is extremely vulnerable to shocks and recurrent food crises (Barrett & Headey 2014). Malawi also suffers from persistently high levels of undernutrition (DHS 2016). Humanitarian aid has played an important role in alleviating hunger during emergencies, such as those in 2015-16 and 2016-17. However, the Government of Malawi and Development partners recognize that emergency responses are not a sustainable solution.