Zimbabwe: WFP to Scale Up Zim Food Aid in 2021

A mother homeschools her children in Shamva district, Zimbabwe, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
16 December 2020

THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is hoping to get more funding to scale up food aid for half the population of insecure urbanites in the country come 2021.

Speaking to the media in Kwekwe this past week, WFP Zimbabwe spokesperson Claire Nevill said the global humanitarian organisation was looking forward to scaling up support to over half a million people by March 2021.

About 30 000 people are benefitting from the programme in Kwekwe urban.

"We have really seen that these communities are benefitting so much because of the urban social assistance programme right now, thanks to the vital support of USAID which is funding the programme, the government, our implementing partner Plan International which is assisting us to make sure that we reach as many households as we can so that they can access this US$12 a month cash transfer," she said.

She added that WFP was expecting to get more funding.

"We are hoping to get funding to extend the programme and continue delivering in urban areas and the need to scale up to other areas. We need to scale up to over half a million people by March 2020," she said.

Nevill expressed gratitude over the support being offered by USAID.

"We are really grateful for the support from our donor in this urban social assistance and the resilience building programme here in Kwekwe.

"The donor is USAID which is the player providing support to allow WFP and Plan International to actually initiate this programme which is vital for these food insecure households. Right now, they have to endure the impact of Covid-19 which really damaged the people's ability to make a form of livelihood from casual labour and its really vital," she said.

WFP is currently disbursing US$12 per person in families.

"This is essential for them to be able to get their most immediate food needs. Some of the beneficiaries are getting essentials which are critical during this Covid-19 period as hygiene is very important.

"The programme has allowed the beneficiaries to buy soap and washing powder, which are essential in the household, which they really need and they have not been able to afford but really needed them until the programme set in," she said.

WFP forecasts that by March next year, at least 3,3 million people, almost half 47% of the urban populace, will be food insecure.

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