The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received US$5.7 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support people experiencing vulnerability to food insecurity across urban and rural areas.
This brings USAID’s contributions to over US$45 million over the last year.
Urban populations will benefit from the contribution through WFP’s Urban Resilience Building Programme which aims to reach up to 140,000 households across 19 urban domains.
Additionally, 14 000 rural households in eight districts will receive support through WFP’s Food Assistance for Assets Programme. Both programmes will develop community skills and create assets to better prepare communities with sustainable livelihood
opportunities – and improve their capacity to cope with shocks such as COVID-19 and climate change. Said USAID Acting Mission Director Zeb Simpson:
The United States will continue to bring critical food assistance to the most vulnerable Zimbabweans. At the same time, we are working to equip households and communities with the skills and resources they need to overcome the shocks and challenges they face.
The situation is of particular concern in urban areas, where 42 per cent of the population are estimated to be food insecure, many impacted by the loss of informal jobs.
Innovative projects like hydroponics will be established in and around cities- which encourages food production through environmentally sustainable techniques. This will empower communities with the tools required to grow and sell food to generate income as many urban livelihoods have been devastated by COVID-19.
Complementary skills building will also be provided to communities such as financial literacy, vocational and digital skills, marketing and micro-business management training.
The rural resilience activities will support community-based asset building, promote village savings and lending groups, and provide training on improving crop storage conditions to reduce harvest loss. In exchange for participation, food assistance will be provided to supplement shortfalls during the upcoming lean season.