A Scottish aid charity has launched an emergency appeal to help support communities in Malawi through a devastating drought that has left 6.5 million people – a third of the country’s population – without access to enough food.
Reflecting the scale of the crisis and the history of support in Scotland for Malawi, Christian Aid Scotland is appealing to its supporters.
The Scottish Government has backed the campaign, promising to match the first £70,000 that is donated from the International Development Fund.
Scotland has a long-standing friendship with Malawi, dating back more than 150 years to the travels of Dr David Livingstone.
The University of Edinburgh estimates that today more than 94,000 Scots and 145,000 Malawians are involved in civic partnerships together each year.
Malawi is facing its worst food crisis for a decade, following prolonged dry spells, erratic rainfall and last year’s devastating floods, which destroyed food reserves, farm land and crops, sending food prices soaring.
Launching the appeal, Head of Christian Aid Scotland Sally Foster-Fulton said: “Without a major humanitarian response, the development progress made by the people of Malawi, could be all but wiped out.
“That’s why any short-term relief work must link to wider, long-term efforts to help Malawi’s communities to withstand disasters that exacerbate poverty.Only then will the country stand a chance of breaking its cycle of food insecurity, once and for all.”
Minister for International Development and Europe Dr Alasdair Allan said: “As part of our on-going role in addressing global challenges, the Scottish Government is committed to assisting the people of Malawi in this time of need.
“I would encourage people the length and breadth of Scotland to consider supporting fund raising efforts to assist Malawi at this critical time”