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Zim government distributes over 36 000 metric tons of food to 1.6 million citizens amid drought

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Harare, (New Ziana) –The three-month phased distribution plan, prioritizing the worst affected areas and hard-to-reach regions, has so far seen the government distributing just over 36 000 metric tons of food across the eight rural provinces, reaching 1.6 million people, a cabinet Minister said on Thursday.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo said this at a press briefing while giving an update on the government’s food deficit mitigation strategy stemming from the effects of the El-Nino-induced drought.

He said the three-phased approach commenced in May this year and as of June 18, at least 36 685 metric tons of food had been distributed across the eight rural provinces, reaching 1 630 448 people.

Moyo said distribution is still ongoing, and the government is utilizing the whole-of-government approach, working closely with the Treasury, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA), and the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) to ensure its smooth implementation.

“The 2024 ZimLac Urban Livelihood Assessment Report indicated that approximately 35 percent of the urban population, or around 1.7 million people, will be food insecure. To cover these vulnerable groups, we will be implementing a cash-for-cereal program once the necessary resources are made available by the Treasury,” he said.

He added that his Ministry is currently working on the implementation modalities for the targeting and registration of eligible beneficiaries for the urban cash-for-cereal program.

Both the rural food distribution and urban cash-for-cereal programs are expected to run until March 2025.

“We still call upon development partners, civil society organizations, corporates, faith-based organizations, and other well-wishers to work jointly with us during this period to combat the effects of this devastating drought,” appealed Moyo.

The comprehensive approach to addressing the food deficit, combining rural food distribution and urban cash assistance, aims to provide much-needed relief to the Zimbabwean population affected by the El Nino-induced drought.

New Ziana

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