The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit has refuted media reports suggesting that the hunger situation has been declared a National disaster.
DMMU Communications Officer Rachael Chama says reports in some sections of the media, attributed to the Minister in the Office of the Vice President Olipah Phiri, describing the hunger situation being experienced in some parts of the country as a national disaster are a misrepresentation of the Ministerial Statement issued to Parliament by the Minister and should not be condoned.
Ms Chama said Government in collaboration with various cooperating partners is doing everything possible to respond to the situation the best way it can and hence no need for such a declaration.
She has reiterated that the state of a national disaster can only be declared by the Republican President upon recommendation from the National Disaster Management Council of Ministers where a situation can not be handled in-country.
Ms Chama said that the Minister reiterated the call to all Members of Parliament to openly engage DMMU to ensure that the required relief reaches all the deserving households.
She said the Minister also urged the MPs to take advantage of the fact that they are members of the District Disaster Management Committees in their various constituencies, to ensure smooth implementation of the relief program.
Ms Chama said Government is aware of schemes by some Civil Society Organizations and politicians, working with some international organizations to discredit and undermine government works in responding to the matter.
She emphasize that relief distribution is not meant to replace people’s coping capacities but is purely meant to supplement local abilities of sustenance and strengthening their resilience and vulnerability.
Ms Chama said the Unit is guided by four principles namely; humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in the execution of all humanitarian programs.