THE United States has donated US$10 million to Zimbabwe through the World Food Programme (WFP) to cater for over 100 000 vulnerable people in eight urban areas.
BY PRECIOUS CHIDA
Through the US Agency for International Development (USAid), in response to COVID-19, the US has now committed more than US$18 million to Zimbabwe in different sectors.
The US embassy said the funds would be channelled towards the WFP for humanitarian assistance tio vulnerable communities.
“Through this $10 million in new funding, USAid will collaborate with WFP to address increasing food insecurity in urban areas,” US ambassador Brian Nichols said in a statement yesterday.
“In September 2019, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) determined that more than 2,2 million Zimbabweans in urban areas face food insecurity as a result of rising food prices.”
The embassy added: “In May 2020, WFP estimated that this number had increased by as much as one million people as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, which further constrained the economy and severely affected Zimbabweans whose livelihoods depend on the informal sector hence this funding will ensure that nearly 100 000 people in eight urban districts have access to cash transfers that will ensure adequate food supplies between July and December 2020.”
USAid has provided nearly $15 million, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided US$3 million, and PEPFAR has reprogrammed US$150 000 to address COVID-19.
Nichols added: “This additional funding, which will help people facing increased food insecurity in Zimbabwe’s urban areas, demonstrates the US commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabweans in urban areas need to practise social distancing measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 and continue to feed their families.
“The United States remains committed to supporting the people of Zimbabwe to improve health outcomes, increase agricultural productivity, stimulate economic growth, protect human rights, and improve democratic governance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
However, while the US continues to pump in funds to help in fighting the pandemic, the government has been accused several times of misusing donor aid following the COVID-19 tender scam involving Drax International that is still at the courts that has sucked in officials from the ministries of Finance and Health.
Senior doctors recently asked Parliament to investigate alleged hijacking of funds from the Global Fund earmarked for their retention allowances.