Key data for Malawi

HANCI Africa compares 45 countries for their performance on 22 indicators of political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. All the countries compared in the index have high rates of hunger and undernutrition. The comparative approach of the index means that country scores are calculated in relation to the political commitment of the other countries in the index.
Existing rates of: Stunting: 42.40% Wasting: 3.80% Proportion of population underweight: 16.70% Source: Gov. of Malawi (MDG endline survey, 2014)

Strong Performance

  • Spending on agriculture (23.45% of public spending in 2014) meets government commitments set out in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration (10% of public spending).
  • Malawi’s spending in its health sector (16.8% of public spending in 2014) exceeds commitment (15%) set out in the Abuja Declaration.
  • Relative to other HANCI countries, Malawi's medium/long term national development policy (Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II) assigns strong importance to nutrition.
  • Malawi instituted a separate budget line for nutrition, enabling transparency and accountability for spending.
  • The National Nutrition Policy/Strategy identifies time bound nutrition targets and a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism has been set up.
  • Policymakers in Malawi benefit from regular nutrition surveys that are statistically representative at national level. The last survey was published in 2013-2014.
  • The Government of Malawi promotes complementary feeding practices.
  • 90.2% of the population of Malawi in 2015 has access to an improved drinking water source.
  • In Malawi 96.1% of women aged 15-49 were visited at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel in 2014.
  • In Malawi, constitutional protection of the right to food and the right to social security is strong.

Areas for improvement

  • In Malawi, the law gives women and men equal economic rights and equal legal access to agricultural land. However, these laws are not effectively enforced and discriminatory practices against women continue, increasing their vulnerability to hunger and undernutrition.
  • The Government of Malawi has only achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for 41% of children in 2014.
  • Weak access to improved sanitation facilities (41% in 2015) obstructs better hunger and nutrition outcomes.
  • Social safety nets in Malawi are basic and only cover few risks for a limited number of beneficiaries.
  • Civil registration rates are weak (63.9% in 2014) and potentially hold back children’s access to critical public services such as health and education.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI)

Public Spending Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Public spending on agriculture as share of total public spending
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
Access to agricultural research and extension services
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
Functioning of social protection systems
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
In Law, not in Practice20141st
Equality of women’s economic rights
In Law, not in Practice20117th
Constitutional right to social security

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
Government promotes complementary feeding
Population with access to an improved water source
Population with access to improved sanitation
Health care visits for pregnant women
Nutrition features in national development policy
National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
Time bound nutrition targets
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
Many Aspects Enshrined201615th