One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
£14.5m To Help Food Crisis In Malawi
The UK is stepping up humanitarian support including food packages and medical supplies to help Malawi's most vulnerable families survive one of the country's worst food shortage crises in over a decade.
Today's announcement brings the UK's humanitarian support in Malawi since October 2015 to £14.5m.
The support will ensure The World Food Programme can deliver emergency food packages including basic rations of maize and nutrient-rich cereals for over 800,000 people.
UNICEF will also undertake mass screening of up to 800,000 children to identify urgent nutritional support needs and a Save the Children-led consortium will be able to provide small cash transfers to over 450,000 people to buy basic food supplies for their families at food markets, helping stimulate local maize and other food markets.
It will provide specialist supplies for up to 140,000 people suffering from acute malnutrition, including children under five, pregnant women and people who are HIV-positive or suffering from tuberculosis and vital protection support to vulnerable people, including women and girls, in displacement and refugee camps through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Speaking during a visit to Malawi this week, the Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "Scotland can be proud of our long standing links with Malawi and we can be proud of the outstanding work civil servants from DFID's dual headquarters in East Kilbride are leading on worldwide.
"My visit to Malawi this week has reaffirmed how much people here value the great bond which exists between our two nations. This new UK funding will help strengthen
this bond and provide life-saving support to hundreds of thousands of Malawians"
The UK Government's International Development Minister Nick Hurd said: "Due to the El Nino weather phenomenon affecting much of Africa, widespread drought is causing millions of people to go without food, while thousands more have lost their homes and livelihoods in severe floods. The UK has been at the forefront of preventing and preparing for the effects of El Niño in the world's poorest places, including in Malawi. Providing support is hugely important to African people and is also in the UK's national interest."
The UK Government, through the Department for International Development has a programme of ongoing support worth over £80m in Malawi this year in health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, economic development, increasing access to justice for women and vulnerable groups, accountability and governance reforms.
During today's visit, the Scottish Secretary will also announce the next phase of the Connecting Classrooms project. It will increase the focus on teachers from Scotland and Malawi sharing good practice.
It's hoped by 2018, 45,000 teachers and 12,000 headteachers in both countries will have benefited from the programme.
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