USAid to guard against partisan aid distribution


HARARE – The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) does not distribute its food aid based on political affiliations of recipients, the mission’s director Stephanie Funk has said.

At a media briefing on drought response on Monday, Funk said food aid is given to families in need.

Due to the effects of an El Nino-induced drought, an estimated 2,8 million people are in need of food aid and livelihood support.

Funk told the Daily News that the USAid with the help of the World Food Programme (WFP) has a robust exercise that enables them to identify the most vulnerable members in the communities.

“People who are sick, those with young children and those in abject poverty are identified. If there is any instance of food going in the wrong direction or people that are in need not receiving it then they should report to the help desk so that we respond to such complaints,” Funk said.

United Nations (UN) resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli said as the UN, they plan to reach to as many people as possible regardless of their political affiliation.

He said part of the required $360 million in the drought response plan will also be extended to other vulnerable groups in urban areas and to migrants as well.

Bishow, however, said with the $70 million that has been received so far, there was need to continue and increase drought response in Zimbabwe.

“We project that the people in need will increase, food insecurity in the rural population will fluctuate from 30 percent to 49 percent, that is approximately 4,5 million people during the peak of the lean season from January to March 2017,” he said.

WFP country director Eddie Rowe said the food security situation looks bleak for the country due to cattle deaths and also dwindling remittances from the Diaspora.

Rowe said as of July 2016, the food insecurity situation will rise up to March 2017.

“The few households that took advantage of the late rains and planted in January have about six to eight weeks of food left,” he said.

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