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Food shortages have become a chronic feature of many sub-Saharan countries, not just because of bad weather but also because of increasing poverty levels. In economies that do not have government social-security programmes, humanitarian relief and safety-net initiatives are imperative to prevent mass starvation. This article discusses the implementation of a cash-for-work programme designed to bridge the hunger gap in Malawi, highlighting its value and drawing lessons for practitioners with regard to the various components of the programme such as design, targeting, and timing, as well as challenges.

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