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USAID Pledges To Guard Against Politicisation Of Food Aid

USAID Pledges To Guard Against Politicisation Of Food Aid

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says it has established modalities to ensure that the allocation of food aid is not politicised in rural areas ahead of the 2023 general elections.

USAID on Thursday gave the World Food Programme (WFP) US$36 million worth of food aid that will be distributed to people living in rural areas who are facing food shortages.

USAID director for Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience, Marialice Ariens, said they are working with WFP and Government to make sure food aid reaches the needy. She said:

The United States government takes targeting seriously. We have key beneficiary criteria when we decide who we are going to assist.

WFP also has a validation exercise, so a follow-up post the initial target to make sure that the people targeted are indeed the most vulnerable will be done.

Opposition political parties have on numerous occasions accused ZANU PF of withholding food aid from perceived opposition supporters as a form of punishment and using the same to reward those who vote for the ruling party.

According to WFP, 3 million Zimbabweans are projected to face acute food shortage in the first quarter of 2023 owing to poor rainfall during the 2021/22 summer cropping season.

WFP head of programmes in Zimbabwe, Roberto Borlini said they will continue working in collaboration with the United States of America to support those in need of assistance. Said Borlini:

WFP and the United States are committed to supporting humanitarian and social assistance for those who need it in Zimbabwe.

While we will provide short-term assistance during this lean season, we will also continue creating livelihood opportunities, to increase the purchasing power of families, enabling them to meet their food needs.


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