Japan avails US$500k for food aid

World Food Programme

The Government of Japan has made an additional contribution of US$500 000 to the World Food Programme (WFP) to alleviate food insecurity in Zimbabwe.

“In collaboration with WFP, the Government of Japan continues to deliver support from the people of Japan to the most vulnerable people in Zimbabwe, addressing their immediate food needs during the lean season,” said Satoshi Tanaka, the Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe in a statement.

“We hope that this assistance will help cushion their hardship during the upcoming lean season. We will provide food insecure people with unconditional food assistance under the Emergency Grant.”

Francesca Erdelmann, the WFP representative in the country said: “This funding comes at a critical time, with many vulnerable families struggling to put food on the table.”

In a related case, the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), though its Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience (HAR) Office also availed US$600 000 to the Mwenezi Development Training Centre (MDTC) in Masvingo to support food insecure communities in Chiredzi.

“We are very excited we got the award as it will enable us to reach the hard to reach communities who are in Chiredzi. All these activities will be implemented by MDTC and off course with some government line ministries,” MDTC programmes managing director Promise Makoni said.

The development comes as Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima told Parliament that the government has started a food handout programme.

“This month, we had an allocation of 15 000 tonnes to go into the areas that were adversely affected due to erratic rains. We are targeting that on an average, up to the next harvest, we will be distributing something like 30 000 tonnes per month,” Mavima said.

Meanwhile, government says more than 70% of the country’s soils were acidic and described as one of the biggest factors contributing to poor agricultural yields

Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services chief director Obert Jiri told NewsDay that all the country’s districts were affected, saying Pfumvudza packages for the 2022/2023 agricultural season would include lime.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Shadreck Makombe said the decision to give farmers lime was very commendable.

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