Hunger Season


In Zomba, Malawi, Chimwemwe, 8, (left) and his sister Janet, 4, (right) eat boiled green mangoes for lunch. It’s all their mother has been able to provide for weeks.

Fanny Chilumpha, is paid in green mangoes for doing odd jobs for her neighbors. For more than two weeks, mangoes are all she’s had to feed her six children.

“This is all we can afford,” says Fanny. She knows it's not enough.

The misfortunes of Fanny and her children are all too common across Malawi and southern Africa. Nearly 3 million people in Malawi are desperate for food, according to a report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee. 

“We have had food problems in the past, but this year is something else,” says Christina Cimala, chair of the development committee for Ngwerero subdistrict, where Fanny and her children live. “We fear for the children who are now getting malnourished. We fear that something far beyond malnutrition may happen if help is long in coming.”

The World Food Program (WFP), the Malawi government, and World Vision will soon bring emergency food aid to Fanny’s community. So far, WFP and World Vision have distributed food in five districts to more than 18,000 people. They are targeting close to 600,000 people in Malawi to receive food aid during the hunger season, and close to 2 million people in southern Africa who will need food in the coming months.

Malawi: Fast food facts

  • 47.8 percent of Malawi children are stunted in their growth
  • 4 percent of Malawi children show signs of wasting


Photo ©2015 World Vision, Charles Kabena

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