No money for food aid distribution: Govt

Source: No money for food aid distribution:Govt –Newsday Zimbabwe

PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Mercy Dinha says the delivery of food aid to Zimbabweans has been delayed due to lack of funding.

Speaking during Parliament’s question and answer session, Dinha said the grain distribution programme, initially intended to begin much earlier, is currently on hold pending release of funds.

 

“This grain distribution programme should have started a long time ago, but we were waiting for funding from Treasury to transport the grain to silos that are closer to the people,” she said.

“We have been given an allocation of ZWL$3,7 billion to ensure that we cover registration as well as transporting the grain. With regards to transportation, we have not received all the money, by the time we receive all the money, the process will proceed smoothly.

 “From the figure we were allocated, we received about ZWL$8 billion in February and yesterday we received ZWL$3,5 billion. We have not received all the funds and that is the reason why we have those delays.”

Humanitarian agencies say at least over four million Zimbabweans including urbanites may need food aid because of the looming  El Nino-induced drought.

The prolonged dry spell has seen crops wilt, but the government has said no Zimbabwean will starve, although critics have cast doubt, especially after government announced this week after a post Cabinet meeting that 9% of the 2,7 million hungry people in its food assistance queue had received food since January.

“The grain is there, the only problem is transportation to take it to the nearest Grain Marketing Board depots so that people may receive grain closer to their doorsteps,” Dinha added.

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