HARARE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed an additional US$10 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for families in urban areas of Zimbabwe struggling to meet their daily food needs due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The contribution will assist almost 100,000 people with monthly cash transfers equivalent to US$13 each, enabling them to meet almost two-thirds of their daily food requirements.
A September 2019 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report said that more than 2.2 million people in cities and towns faced food insecurity, not least because of surging prices. COVID-19 has exacerbated economic instability, significantly impacting urban residents already living hand to mouth, many of them working multiple jobs in the informal sector.
WFP forecasts that by March next year at least 3.3 million people – almost half (47%) the country’s urban population – will be food insecure.
“This additional funding underscores the strong commitment of the American people and government to the people of Zimbabwe” said US Ambassador Brian A. Nichols.
“This generous and timely contribution will help alleviate the suffering of a large number of people struggling to cope with the twin shocks of COVID-19 and a still deteriorating economy,” said Eddie Rowe, WFP Zimbabwe Representative and Country Director.
WFP is scaling up its urban assistance programme to deliver monthly cash transfers to at least 550,000 Zimbabweans in 20 of the country’s most food insecure urban areas.