Key data for Malawi

NCI11th HRCI5th HANCI7th
HANCI 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: 37.1% Wasting: 2.7% Proportion of population underweight: 2.7% Source: Government of Malawi (DHS, 2015-16)

Strong Performance

  • Spending on agriculture (17.6% of public spending in 2016) meets government commitments set out in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration (10% of public spending).
  • Relative to other HANCI countries, Malawi’s medium/long term national development policy (Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III) 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 2015-2016.
  • The Government of Malawi promotes complementary feeding practices.
  • In Malawi 96.1% of women aged 15-49 were visited at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel in 2013-2014.
  • In Malawi, constitutional protection of the right to food and the right to social security is strong.

Areas for improvement

  • Malawi’s spending in its health sector (10.8% of public spending in 2015) does not fully meet (15%) commitments set out in the Abuja Declaration.
  • 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 achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for only 16% of children in 2015.
  • Weak access to improved sanitation facilities (55.1% in 2016) 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 (67% in 2015-2016) 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
?
17.6%20161st
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
?
10.8%20157th
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
?
Moderate2016Joint 20th
Access to agricultural research and extension services
?
Moderate2013Joint 27th
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
?
67%2015-201623rd
Functioning of social protection systems
?
Weak2016Joint 22nd
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
?
Strong2016Joint 1st
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
?
In Law, not in Practice2014Joint 4th
Equality of women’s economic rights
?
In Law, not in Practice2014Joint 1st
Constitutional right to social security
?
Yes2006Joint 1st

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
?
Yes2017Joint 1st
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
?
16%201539th
Government promotes complementary feeding
?
Yes2012Joint 1st
Population with access to an improved water source
?
87%201616th
Population with access to improved sanitation
?
55.1%201613th
Health care visits for pregnant women
?
96.1%2013-20148th
Nutrition features in national development policy
?
Strong2017-20227th
National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
?
Yes2017Joint 1st
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
?
Yes2017Joint 1st
Time bound nutrition targets
?
Yes2017Joint 1st
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
?
Yes2015-2016Joint 1st
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
?
Many Aspects Enshrined2016Joint 20th