(Last Updated on January 13, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – The United Kingdom has pledged £4 million (US$5.4million) to help feed 110 000 food insecure people in urban areas in Zimbabwe.
This initiative is part of the global package to provide food, nutrition, water and shelter worth £47 million to over 1.3 million vulnerable people from various countries and regions.
A statement from the UK Embassy in Zimbabwe said the funds will go towards helping the most vulnerable including the elderly, child-headed families and those living with disabilities who will be receiving cash transfers or vouchers redeemable at supermarkets.
“The UK is releasing an extra £47million of aid to immediately provide food, nutrition, water and shelter for vulnerable families in nine countries and regions including across the Sahel, Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Mozambique.
Zimbabwe will receive £4 million (approx US5.4 million) to help support 110 000 food-insecure people living in 8 urban areas. These highly vulnerable people, a large percentage of which includes the elderly, people living with disabilities and child-headed households have been severely impacted by Covid-19 and the support, implemented by the UN’s World Food Programme, will come in the form of monthly cash transfers or electronic vouchers worth 12USD per person which can be redeemed in supermarkets,” read part of the statement.
WPF in Zimbabwe Country Director and Representative Erdelmann expressed gratitude for the contribution made by the UK.
“This generous and timely contribution from the people of UK will go a long way to relieve the hunger burden on Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable urban population. WFP and the humanitarian community are facing a shortage of funding, and this contribution will ensure we can continue to save lives at this critical time when the grip of Covid-19 on the country is tightening and putting people’s livelihoods on the line,” she said.
Zimbabwe’s Development Director for the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Cate Turton said: “Zimbabwe is facing a humanitarian crisis which has been compounded by a deteriorating economy and the Covid-19 pandemic. This extra UK aid support will mean people can feed their families and prevent the crises from escalating. We hope to see other donors step up to the plate with some extra funding to support the people of Zimbabwe through this difficult time.”
Recent data showed that almost half of Zimbabwe’s population was likely to be food insecure.
The embassy also said the UK was in the future looking to support 156 000 people on average in 3 rural areas during the lean season with in-kind food assistance up to the next harvest expected in April 2021.