Malawi farmers receive cash payouts from WFP insurance programme

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After drought and pests devastated crops during the 2020-2021 planting season, nearly 65,000 farming families in Malawi received cash payments from the United Nations World Food Programme’s Agricultural Insurance Program. This is one of the largest Crop Index insurance payments ever on the African continent, amounting to US$2.4 million.

The Honorable Lupine C. Insurance payments. “Increasing crop insurance can enhance people’s ability to anticipate shocks, withstand shocks and mitigate their effects in the long run.”

The Government of Malawi and a coalition of partners are working to empower farming communities to manage climate risks and reduce the impacts of climate-related risks. In the 2020-2021 agricultural season, farmers have secured crops such as maize, sorghum, rice, groundnut, pea and cotton to protect their income from crop losses. Farmers gain access to these policies either by paying a portion of their premiums in cash or by participating in building community assets such as wells, vegetable gardens and tree nurseries that help them withstand future weather shocks.

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Says Paul Turnbull, WFP Malawi’s country director and actor. “The payments are a starting point for farmers to continue their efforts to adapt to increasing weather-related shocks and combat food insecurity and poverty.”

In recent years, Malawi has experienced a rise in the frequency, severity and unpredictability of climate shocks, perpetuating the cycle of food and nutrition insecurity. WFP works with the government and its partners to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis on vulnerable and food insecure communities through an integrated approach to risk management.

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This initiative has been implemented in Malawi since 2015 and is made possible through multi-stakeholder partnerships. The program coordinates with the technical departments of the Government of Malawi at the central and district levels and with financial support from several development partners, including the Adaptation Fund, Flanders, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

As climate talks take place at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, the World Food Program is calling for better risk management systems and government financing to aid efforts to adapt to climate change.

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