THE World Food Programme (WFP) has committed to distribute food to approximately 80 000 people in Mwenezi district, Masvingo province ahead of the El Niño-induced shortages.
WFP country director Francesca Erdelmann said: “With the impact of climate change, it is increasingly hard to navigate the agricultural season and assure a good harvest.
“This year’s El Niño event will add to this complexity and we need to be on standby to not only provide adequate guidance and support in agricultural activities, but also provide direct food assistance now and in the months and year to come.”
In line with the initiative, the Mwenezi Development Training Centre and WFP have started rolling out the Lean Season Assistance Project programmes for the food-insecure people through funding from United States Agency for International Development.
Mwenezi is among the country’s drought-prone and food insecure districts.
Meanwhile, addressing delegates at a workshop on the Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy (FDMS)/Lean Season Assistance for the 2023/24 distribution period, Labour and Social Services minister July Moyo recently revealed that projections from the 2023 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) findings show that at least 2,7 million people in Zimbabwe are food insecure
“We have been responding to distress calls from across the country to ensure that no one dies of hunger as we prepared to comprehensively respond to food insecurity,” Moyo said.
“My ministry is also advocating for the provision of nutrition sensitive social protection, (whereby), for instance, we will be giving a comprehensive food basket which shall comprise of cereals, oils and pulses.
“Under this intervention, my Ministry, which is part of the National Food and Nutrition Security Committee, is lobbying for resources from Treasury, to enable this to happen as we aim to have a food basket with a nutritional value.”
Government has been implementing a national Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy in conjunction with WFP over many past seasons.
“This has resulted in reduced errors of inclusion and exclusion, effective use of resources and no overlaps. Accordingly, the same arrangement will continue.
“The programme is implemented through the respective District Drought Relief Committees which should be commended for doing a sterling work in ensuring food is distributed. The same existing structures will thus be followed at sub-national level for effective implementation,” Moyo added.