66 000 Zimbabweans to benefit from USAID funding to WFP

-The contribution comes at a critical time when the provision of support for the creation or rehabilitation of small-scale farming activities is much required, a USAID official said

John Cassim

HARARE, Zimbabwe – 66 000 Zimbabweans will benefit from the US$ 8. 7 million Food for Asset program running from May to August, a USAID official has announced.

The food insecure are rural Zimbabweans in Rushinga, Masvingo, Kariba, Mwenezi, as well as Zvishavane.

The USAID announcement came Wednesday during the handover of US$ 8. 7 million to WFP at an event in Harare, Wednesday.

“The most vulnerable and food-insecure people in Zimbabwe often live in fragile, resource-scare, and degraded environments in areas prone to climate disasters, where they are exposed, to frequent shocks.

These are the communities we will reach with the Food for Assets program”

“The program addresses immediate food needs. Those participating in the program will receive monthly food baskets consisting of maize meal, cooking oil, and pulses such as dried beans and peas, which will meet 75% of the food daily requirements for an individual,” Ramses Gauthier, acting USAID Mission Director said.

The contribution comes at a critical time as it will be used to provide support for the creation or rehabilitation of small-scale farming infrastructure, village savings and lending groups as well as provide training on business management.

While receiving the contribution, WFP acting Country Director, Christine Mendes said the support was coming at the right time following years marked by COVID-19, climate shocks as well as food and fuel price hikes.

“We are grateful to the US government for its continued support in enabling vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe to withstand the negative impact of climate change and recurrent economic shocks,” said Christine Mendes. “The beauty of transformational activities lies in empowering communities not only to have food today and tomorrow but to prevent and mitigate future food crisis, as well as reduce humanitarian needs for some time while paving the way toward self-sufficient futures.”

In Zimbabwe farmers across the country are harvesting their cereal.

Although the country has had favourable rain this agricultural season, many families still face food insecurity.

Some Zimbabwean small-holder farmers live hand to mouth due to the cumulative effects of droughts, insufficient livelihood opportunities economic shocks and have over the years been unable to break this cycle or relapse into food crises without support that will bolster their livelihood.

Since 2011 and through its resilience-building activities, more than 1. 2 million people in 30 districts have benefited from WFP-supported productive assets, including approximately 400 small dams, 80 irrigation systems, over 520 hectares of vegetable gardens, and more than 60 mostly solar-powered boreholes.

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