HARARE–The Government of Germany, through the German Federal Foreign Office, has contributed EUR 3 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe to support highly vulnerable communities struggling to meet their basic food needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This is part of a EUR 18 million contribution by Germany to Southern Africa for 2021-2023.This contribution will be used to improve access to food and ensure that vulnerable women, men, girls and boys, including refugees, consume an adequate and nutritious diet in times of need, particularly during lean season. Chargé d ́affaires / Deputy Ambassador for German Embassy Harare Christian Oelfke said this contribution will help those who need support most. “As part of the Federal Republic of Germany ́s worldwide efforts to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic we are extending a helping hand to the Zimbabwean population with this contribution. The pandemic has exacerbated the food security situation which has been strained for large parts of the population in the past few years. We hope that our contribution will help to temporarily alleviate the plight of vulnerable groups.” WFP Zimbabwe Country Director and Representative Francesca Erdelmann said this contribution comes at a time when many are finding it increasingly difficult to put food on the table because of COVID -19.“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Zimbabweans, as restrictions implemented to curb the spread of the virus have resulted in the loss of livelihoods and household income. Most of Zimbabwe’s urban population relies heavily on informal sector livelihoods, its closure during the lockdown period has had a detrimental impact on levels of urban food insecurity. While the agriculture season witnessed an improved harvest from the previous years, some areas still needs support to see them through the peak hunger period. Refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp will struggle to make ends meet as they depend on WFP for assistance. This contribution from Germany will go a long way in assisting these vulnerable groups that need help the most” she said.
According to the 2020 Urban Livelihoods Assessment, 2.4 million urban dwellers, or 42% of the total urban population in Zimbabwe, are estimated to be food insecure. While the rural livelihoods assessment estimates 2.9 million that is approximately 27% of the rural households will be food insecure during the peak of lean season (Jan-March 2022).WFP assists 326,004 people across 23 urban domains until the end of this year, with monthly cash-based transfers via e-voucher and Western Union remittance exchange. Beneficiaries receive USD 12 per person, per month to help meet their basic food needs. Presently WFP is assisting more than 13,500 refugees and through the Lean Season Assistance we aim to support 1 million people at the peak of the lean season.