At least 2.8 million people, of whom 1.5 million are children, are facing a food shortage in Malawi, one of the countries worst affected by a severe drought exacerbated by the El Nino phenomenon, caused by warm water in the Pacific Ocean. Lack of rains have resulted in crop failure making this year's harvest – which typically takes place in March and April – almost impossible for thousands of households.

IBTimes UK visited communities in the Neno district in southern Malawi, where people are facing hunger due to lack of maize, a staple food in the south-east African nation.

Malawi drought
Rose Nomani, 60, has seven children. She became a widow in 2012 and told IBTimes UK she is very sad as she is unable to pay school fees for most of her children, Neno district, Malawi, 1 March 2016Ludovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK
Malawi drought
Grace smart, 16, dropped out of school as her mother cannot afford to pay school fees. Grace told IBTimes UK she feels her future has been destroyed, Neno district, Malawi, 1 March 2016Ludovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK
Malawi drought
Loveness Chimphonda, 53, stands next to the charcoal she produces by burning trees, a practice the government outlawed due to the impact it has on the environment. Chimphonda lives with HIV since 2000 and she is concerned because she must eat food before taking her medications, Neno district, Malawi, 2 March 2016Ludovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK
Malawi drought
Mary Gangiva, 17, fears that lack of funds and food shortage are affecting her future and urges girls not to fall pregnant and pursue education, Neno district, Malawi, 1 March 2016Ludovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK
Malawi drought
Joseph Sobala, 64, stands with his son Joseph near his house in Neno district, southern Malawi, on 2 March 2016. Sobala told IBtimes UK his leg injury prevents him from finding proper employment and this, coupled with lack of maize, is affecting his familyLudovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK
Malawi drought
A woman shows an unripe water melon, the only food she and her family can eat as maize is not available. Blantyre, Malawi, 3 March 2016Ludovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK

The World Food Programme (WFP) is delivering food to thousands of households until April and said Malawi needs $38m (£27m) to help those affected by food insecurity. Analysts warned assistance to people who are facing hunger could be further undermined as donors have cut aid to Malawi following a 2013 financial scandal known as 'cashgate'. More on the drought in Malawi here.


IBTimes UK travelled to Malawi courtesy of World Vision UK. Click here for more information about thecharity's work in Malawi.


Malawi drought
A mother and her baby wait to receive maize by charity World Vision on behalf of World Food Program in Chikwawa District, southern Malawi, on 2 March 2016Ludovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK
Drought in Malawi
People receive maize by charity World Vision on behalf of World Food Program in Chikwawa District, southern Malawi, on 2 March 2016Ludovica Iaccino for IBTimes UK