Zim gets US$60m for food assistance  

Sindiso Mhlophe

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAid) is set to provide US$60,55 million to support the World Food Programme’s (WFP) 2020 to 2021 Lean Season Food Assistance Programme in Zimbabwe.

This comes as over 8 million Zimbabweans are facing starvation owing to recurrent droughts, the worsening economic crisis and the impact of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“The United States remains committed to responding to the humanitarian situation, providing critical food assistance to Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable, while responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining essential services,” US ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols said.
Zimbabwe is currently facing one of its worst food security crises in a decade due to the combined effects of failed economic and agricultural policies, corruption, consecutive poor agricultural seasons, the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, and now, the Covid-19 pandemic.
The WFP’s lean season assistance will begin in August and will feed nearly one million people during the peak of the season, from January to April 2021.
WFP Zimbabwe’s country director and representative, Niels Balzer said 38 percent of the country’s rural population will be food insecure from July to December 2020, while 3,3 million of the urban population will also be facing food insecurity for the same period.


“WFP would like to thank the American people for their generosity and steadfast commitment to the people of Zimbabwe at this critical time.
“Our Lean Season Assistance programme addresses the urgent food needs of the most vulnerable Zimbabweans, who are facing a triple threat of climate induced drought, economic crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic,” Balzer said.
In June, USAid announced an additional US$10 million to ensure that nearly 100 000 people in eight urban areas have access to adequate food supplies between July and December 2020.

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