By Edward Mukaro
APPROXIMATELY 55.000 people in Matobo District are set to get relief aid from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), as the UN agency received a whooping CA$3 million donation from the Government of Canada to fight hunger, in Zimbabwe.
The funding supports WFP’s rapid scale – up emergency food assistance to vulnerable communities.
Zimbabwe is facing a dire hunger crisis with an estimate 7. 7 million people (above half of the southern African nation’s population) reportedly food insecure, according to the WFP.
The nation has been experiencing incessant droughts making the situation dire, since the country’s economy depends much on agricultural production.
WFP has been at the forefront, lobbying for donations from globe, in order to feed vulnerable communities and citizens, who have since become incapacitated because of the droughts and a bad economy.
In a statement released to the media, Canadian Ambassador to Zimbabwe H. E. René Cremonese said his country was happy to support the people of Zimbabwe and will always stand by the African country in times of need.
“Canada is standing with people of Zimbabwe in addressing food insecurity by providing CAD$3 million to the WFP to help 55.000 people in Matobo district, in addition to the CAD$1 million provided early in 2019,” said Cremonese.
WFP representative and country director Eddie Rowe said the Canadian donation would go a long way in improving the well being of the food in-secure people in Zimbabwe, while also taking time to thank the Canadian government for the continued support to the people of Zimbabwe.
“WFP would like to thank the Government of Canada for its continued commitment to the people of Zimbabwe. WFP is seriously concerned about the hunger that millions of Zimbabweans are enduring – and the very real prospect that their plight will get worse before it gets worse.
“ This support from Canada will go a long way towards improving the well – being of food insecure people, particularly children and women,” said Rowe.
Ambassador Cremonese travelled to Chipinge this week, together with Rowe, to visit a food distribution site and meet some of the families receiving this vital food assistance, from WFP, thanks to Canada’s support.
The visit takes place just ahead of International Women’s Day and will be an opportunity to champion the progress made to promote the rights of women and girls in food assistance.
Women are the main recipients and decision – makers on the use of food and cash assistance, in Zimbabwe.
As part of this week’s visit to Chipinge, the Canadian Ambassador also witnessed results of some of WFP’s resilience building activities, such as, a community owned dip tank for cleaning cattle, to hear how this builds resilience to the effects of drought and climate change.
Following gender awareness campaigns led by WFP and partners over the past year – 61 percent of food distribution committee members are now also women.
AFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters.
By Edward Mukaro