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Social safety net programmes, repeated weather shocks, and household resilience to food insecurity in Malawi

First release: November 30, 2023

Extreme weather shocks manifested through the late onset of rains, prolonged dry spells, droughts, and floods have increased in frequency and intensity over the past five decades in Malawi. The study utilizes four waves of Integrated Household Panel Survey data (2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019) to understand the impacts of economic shocks and social safety net programmes on food security status and household resilience in Malawi. Overall, households’ food security and resilience have improved between 2010 and 2019. Shocks including unusually high costs of food and agricultural inputs, floods, and irregular rains have a negative impact on resilience. Results further show that cash transfers, improvements in education, engagement in self-employment activities, and access to savings have a positive impact on resilience and food security status suggesting the potential of these factors to cushion against adverse economic shocks and crises.

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Top - Flooded maize field, Bottom - Social protection interventions. 

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