WALA is a five year livelihoods program beginning in 2009 to improve food security for chronically food insecure households. It combines improved agricultural techniques, irrigation schemes, diversifying income sources, health and nutrition, and decision making and accountability. Each of these interventions is designed to work together at a household level, helping to address the many causes of poverty.
WALA has 3 Strategic Objectives:
Enhance Human Capabilities of Vulnerable Households
WALA will use behavior change strategies, food-based nutritional interventions and capacity building to prevent malnutrition and childhood illnesses. WALA will improve the nutritional status of children by focusing on growth and development of the child from conception through age two. Children under five showing signs of faltering will receive appropriate nutrition support in collaboration with health services.
Enhance Livelihood Capacities of Households
WALA will target at least 70% of smallholder farm families participating in Strategic Objective 1 activities with a comprehensive package of services to improve agricultural production through irrigation, improved seeds and other interventions with proven effectiveness at raising rural incomes. In addition to targeted interventions with small landholders, WALA will create several sustainable structures which will mobilize resources and create a group safety net. Village Savings and Loan groups will replicate the success of the Malawi I-LIFE program to mobilize community resources in support of savings and credit needs. WALA will likewise enhance the business and marketing skills of smallholder farmers by organizing them into marketing groups, and offering business skill development, value chain support and engagement with the private sector to increase incomes.
Enhance Resiliency of Communities
WALA will build capacity of communities to better solve problems and provide for basic needs. WALA approach will strengthen community safety nets of households through targeted food aid, establish trigger indicators for shocks and expand links to community structures to promote good governance. The average Malawian’s share of non-starch foods in total dietary energy consumption has been declining since 1990. Title II food will be used as an appropriate resource to support WALA program activities by supplying safety net rations for the most vulnerable, with the goal of supplying significant calories to enable individuals to (re)gain the energy to participate in WALA’s developmental activities.Supplement requirements for integrated programming in health and nutrition, agriculture and disaster risk reduction are 16,200 metric tons (MT) of commodities, which will be used to support agricultural and infrastructure rehabilitation activities, as well as provide safety nets for highly vulnerable populations.