New York (New Ziana) – The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday it was arranging a major financial assistance programme to help the country cope with this year’s devastating drought, which has left more than five million people in need of food aid.
The drought, which also affected other countries in the region, wiped out harvests in most of Zimbabwe’s ten provinces, and crippled operations at the country’s main hydro-electricity generating plant due to low water levels.
Speaking to journalists after holding talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa here, WFP executive director, David Beasley said his organization is working out a financial assistance package for Zimbabwe to address the effects of drought, and also to offer short-term help to small-holder farmers.
He said the country had a huge agricultural potential not only to be food self reliant, but to re-gain its status as a major grain exporter as well.
“We talked about Zimbabwe being a brighter future and what we can do to help the people in Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe cannot only feed Zimbabwe, it can feed the world,” he said.
“We are already putting together a major financial operation to help the people throughout Zimbabwe, to make sure we get food security, to help the small holder farmers and help those who have been impacted by the drought, so we are looking at a lot of good things happening in Zimbabwe,” said Beasley.
He visited the country a few months ago to access the food situation in the aftermath of the drought.
In times of crop failure, often the WFP is Zimbabwe’s biggest donor.