Registration of food insecure urban households starts

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Registration of food insecure urban households starts 
Minister July Moyo

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

THE registration of people in urban areas eligible to receive the monthly Government cash allowances to buy mealie meal has started in earnest and will be guided by the results of the Zimbabwe Livelihood Assessment Committee (ZimLAC), Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo has said.

The urban programme has unconditional cash transfers for households without enough food and where people cannot work through age or disability. There will be conditional cash transfers to the urban households, where there is not enough food, but there are people who can work. These people will be expected to undertake public works programmes.

The registration process should be done within 21 days from the start of the programme while disbursement of benefits would be done concurrently with registrations.

Distributions follow President Mnangagwa’s declaration of the El-Nino-induced drought as a national disaster after the 2024 ZimLAC Urban Livelihood Assessment Report indicated that approximately 35 percent of the urban population, about 1,7 million people, would be food insecure, higher than the 29 percent recorded last year.

In a document titled, “Cash for Cereals Urban Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy”, dated May 28, 2024, Minister Moyo said in line with the policy of leaving no-one and no place behind, the Government came up with an effective response to cater for the food insecure urban population, using cash transfers in the cash-based urban economy.

“Registration of beneficiaries is proposed to be guided by the results of the ZimLAC to determine the number of people to benefit in each area,” he said.

“Once data is collected, there will be a need for validation to ensure there are no exclusion and inclusion errors. There will be a random selection of at least 10 percent of the registered population and door to door validation will be conducted by social development officers.

“Additionally, the community will also be engaged to provide feedback on the registered beneficiaries and validate their eligibility. After this process is done, the final list of beneficiaries is then compiled. It is proposed that the validation process take no more than seven days.

“The beneficiaries can cash out their entitlements from EcoCash booths or shops and NetOne shops or buy food directly in shops using the mobile money platforms”.

Minister Moyo said the objectives of introducing the cash for cereal programme in urban areas was to make sure enough nutritious food was available in the food-insecure and labour-constrained urban households, which include older person headed households, child headed households, the chronically ill, persons with disabilities and female headed households with high dependency ratios.

He said the Government aimed to mitigate the effects of drought and other shocks on food insecure non-labour constrained households, through public works and food for asset programmes for resilience building in urban areas and to strengthen the household economy through cash-based transfers during the El Nino drought.

Minister Moyo said besides ZimLAC, information from district profiles and poverty assessments, among other surveys, would be used.

“Conditional cash transfers will be received by labour-endowed; food poor households and the condition will be that they undertake public works and receive cash to allow them to buy food,” she said.