Prices of staples have soared fourfold in parts of Malawi ravaged by Cyclone Freddy, deepening shortages in the country where nearly four million were already food insecure, the WFP said Wednesday.
Compared to the same time last year, the price of maize, the country’s staple food, “has soared to record levels and is now 300 percent” just over a week after the deadly tropical storm lashed southern Malawi, the United Nations World Food Program said in a statement.
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The southern district of Nsanje saw the steepest food price hikes, with maize prices up by 400 percent as villages and markets have been rendered inaccessible, it said.
Cyclone Freddy dumped six months’ worth of rainfall in six days in southern Malawi, leaving a trail of destruction, ripping apart roads and flooding farmland.
Malawi is now confronted with “worsening levels of food insecurity as families struggle to meet their food needs,” the UN agency said.
About 117,000 hectares of farmland were flooded, it said.
Some 3.8 million people in the impoverished nation were already facing acute food insecurity before the cyclone struck, WFP said.
Cyclone Freddy has killed 499 people in Malawi, 350 others are missing, and half a million have been displaced.
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