THE United States government through USAid has pledged to provide US$8,7 million for procument of food aid for food-insecure Zimbabwean households. The money will be channeled through World Food Programme (WFP) under the 2023 Food Assistance for Assets (FAA) scheme.
FFA is a global programme created in 2013 to create healthier natural environments, reduce the risks and impact of climate shocks, increase food productivity and strengthen resilience to disasters.
The FFA programme is in more than 50 countries and has helped between 10 million and 15 million people each year turn large tracts of degraded land back into productive use, according to WFP. It has also led to thousands of hectares of forests being planted as well as construction of wells, ponds and feeder roads.
Speaking at the launch of the programme yesterday, USAid acting mission director Ramses Gauthier said the assistance would benefit 66 000 food-insecure rural dwellers.
“I am honoured to join all of you here at the World Food Programme warehouse in Harare to announce that the United States government, through USAid, will provide the World Food Programme with US$8,7 million dollars for the 2023 Food Assistance for Assets Programme,” he said.
“From May to October, this assistance will support approximately 66 000 food-insecure rural Zimbabweans in Rushinga, Masvingo, Kariba, Mwenezi and Zvishavane.”
Gauthier said the most vulnerable and food-insecure people in Zimbabwe often live in fragile, resource-scarce and degraded environments which are prone to climate disasters, exposing them to frequent shocks.
Those participating in the programme, which addresses immediate food needs, are set to 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.
- HCC considers cancelling ZimPhos contract
- Zim hit by grain shortage
- Masvingo teen stars in human wildlife ‘Konflict’ film
- Harare’s drug lords ruling over ghettos
Gauthier, however, said in exchange, they would contribute to and participate in the construction, rehabilitation, or upgrading of community assets to improve long-term food security and resilience.
Since 2011, USAid has supported the creation of almost 2 000 community assets across Zimbabwe. These include small dams, fish ponds, dip tanks, pens used for cattle sales, irrigation systems, spring protection works, feeder roads, nutrition gardens and many other food security-related community assets.
“Our longstanding funding for the Food for Assets programme demonstrates USAid's commitment to tackling food insecurity in Zimbabwe. And, we are happy to work with a ready, willing and capable partner — the World Food Programme — on this vital task,” Gauthier said.
“We have worked with WFP in Zimbabwe since 2000 and we look forward to our continued partnership. Working together we have improved food security for millions of Zimbabweans.”
Climate-related hazards, including droughts, prolonged mid-season dry spells, flash floods, cyclones, pests and diseases, have negatively affected vulnerable people in Zimbabwe.
In its recent annual country report, WFP said it continued to strengthen its partnerships with government and various players to advance Sustainable Development Goal policies.
The non-governmental organisation transitioned to a new country strategic plan covering the period from July 2022 to December 2026 providing a roadmap to consolidate promotion of shock-responsive social protection and sustainable and resilient foods systems. The food and nutrition security situation in the country continues to be negatively impacted by a combination of factors.
Central to these challenges are macroeconomic conditions, poor crop productivity and a lack of economically viable alternative livelihood options.
The rural Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee report co-ordinated by the Food and Nutrition Council says at least 38% of the rural population will be cereal insecure during the peak lean season this year.