Japan has donated approximately 20 000 metric tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe, a move which will improve the country’s food security.
The donation was done through the World Food Programme (WFP).
Last year, a donation of 30 000 metric tonnes of maize was also donated to Zimbabwe.
Under the partnership between Japan and Zimbabwe, WFP used its expertise in supply chain management to procure maize from South Africa and deliver it directly to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) silos in Harare and Bulawayo.
The donation comes at a time when Zimbabwe is facing serious food shortages. The southern African country, however, is expecting a bumper harvest after good rains were experienced across the country.
“The government, through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare would like to acknowledge receipt of 30 000 metric tonnes of grain from WFP. The gesture was extended as a way of complimenting Government efforts in ensuring food security to vulnerable households in the country.
“This came against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic which caused depletion of the sources of livelihoods of our populace, hence exacerbating their food insecurity.
Therefore the government appreciates the efforts by our all-weather friend WFP and its cooperating partners in ensuring zero tolerance to hunger,” Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, minister Paul Mavima said while receiving the donation.
Japan’s contribution of maize also comes at a crucial period for Zimbabwe. The country had suffered successive years of drought.
The total number of food insecure people now stands at 7.7m—almost half the population—but the number is expected to go down as the country’s prospects of a good harvest are high this year.
“The government of Japan decided to provide this donation of maize given the severity of the current humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.
I hope that, through WFP, it will reach the most vulnerable households as soon as possible so that they can meet their basic needs,” said Satoshi Tanaka, Japan’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
WFP Country Representative and Director Francesca Erdelmann further noted that WFP’s agile supply chain and global expertise in food procurement and logistics services makes us a trusted and reliable broker in such a valuable partnership between Japan and Zimbabwe.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government of Zimbabwe to support and complement its efforts to improve food security in Zimbabwe and together strive towards Zero Hunger by 2030,” Erdelmann said.
Japan’s previous support to vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe through WFP has provided food assistance while at the same time strengthening community resilience through the creation of productive assets, such as weir dams and nutrition gardens.
It has also provided much-needed nutritional support to expectant mothers at maternity waiting homes across the country.