By Staff Reporter
THE World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe will provide food to over 15 000 households in Chipinge one of the districts hard hit by cyclone Idai.
Provision of food to the Chipinge households through the WFP according to government is expected to last until the end of May 2019.
“Registration of beneficiaries for relief support has now been completed in 23 wards in Chipinge District,with the assistance of the World Food Programme (WFP). The WFP will provide food assistance to 15 553 identified households up to the end of May 2019” said minister of information and publicity Monica Mutsvangwa at the post cabinet briefing yesterday.
WFP plans to mount an emergency operation to provide food assistance to approximately 270,000 people in seven affected districts, including Chimanimani and Chipinge, for a period of three months, in coordination with partners’ efforts and existing Government interventions to mitigate the food deficit.
Following its landfall in Mozambique on 14 March, Cyclone Idai continued across land as a Tropical Storm and devastated eastern Zimbabwe with heavy rains and strong winds.
Chipinge alongside Chimanimani are the most affected districts by the cyclone in the country which claimed 347 lives and property running into several millions of dollars was destroyed.
The cyclone exacerbates the country’s food security situation following an El-Nino induced drought.
WFP notes that in 2019, nearly 5.3 million people face food insecurity at the peak of the lean season, as poor rains and erratic weather patterns have a negative impact on crop harvests and livelihood prospects.
Factors which have exacerbated Zimbabwe’s food security situation to “serious” according to the 2017 Global Hunger Index (where it ranked 108th of 119) are widespread poverty, HIV/AIDS, limited employment opportunities, liquidity challenges, recurrent climate-induced shocks and economic instability all contribute to limiting adequate access to food.
Low-productivity agricultural practices and lack of access to markets are also affecting the food security of the vast majority of rural Zimbabweans, whose livelihoods depend on rain-fed agricultural production.