WFP in US$40m food aid programme


The World Food Programme (WFP) together with its partners will utilise US$40m towards helping food insecure people in Zimbabwe during the next six months following an increase in the number of vulnerable households.

Over 5m people are facing food insecurity in Zimbabwe with aid groups assisting close to a million people.

WFP country director Francesca Erdelmann told Business Times that the UN agency is complementing the government’s efforts to ensure no one starves in the country.

The governments of the United States, Japan and Germany will provide resources to ensure distribution of the food aid, Erdelmann said.

“A programme like this for a period of six months will support up to 700 000 people at a cost of US$40m,” she said.

Erdelmann said the lean season assistance for WFP is in eight districts and it complements 52 districts that are supposed to get food assistance in Zimbabwe through the Public Service Ministry.

Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Satoshi Tanaka said the Asian giant will continue to help the vulnerable to improve livelihoods.

“We hope the support we have given these people will go a long way in improving the lives of people here,” Tanaka said.

Zimbabwe has embarked on the First Crop, Livestock and Fisheries assessment and the food aid groups would want to wait for this programme to know the quantities needed for the next lean assistance season.

“We now have to wait for this year’s agriculture season and evaluate how the next lean season will be like in October this year. The support depends on agriculture performance,” Erdelmann said.

“In May, the Food and Nutrition Council will spearhead a national assessment and the ZimVac in rural areas will give us an indication of how the food security will be from July onwards.

“That doesn’t mean we will lie idle but we will be providing resilience building, livelihood creation, rural assets creation, financial literacy, Agriculture insurance and savings.

 “We also do climate proofing programmes. In total people are receiving food in 60 districts which is around 3.8m people so WFP provides a contribution but the total programme is larger than this. Majority of the food comes from GMB and government resources.”

On Wednesday, WFP assisted 46 000 vulnerable people in Hwedza with maize, cooking oil and cowpeas among other basics.

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