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Zimbabwe govt unveils ZWL$11b food aid package

by Staff reporter
01 Feb 2024 at 23:58hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has availed a ZWL$11 billion food aid programme to prevent hunger related deaths in food insecure hotspots countrywide.

Public Service deputy minister Mercy Dinha revealed the approximately US$1,1 million initiative in Parliament on Wednesday during a question and answer session when legislators wanted to know what the government was doing to assist households affected by drought.

"From the coming weeks, distribution will start because we did not have funding for the programme," Dinha said.

"Treasury has now availed ZWL$11 billion for the programme to start. So we are starting with the registration of the beneficiaries to enable us to distribute.

"People will receive grain and they will have their food. All provincial heads have started the registration process and then they will follow up with distribution of the maize."

Dinha said the funds will also cover transportation costs, a crucial aspect that had previously hampered distribution efforts.

"Now that we have received ZWL$11 billion from the Treasury, we are now able to pay transporters to get the maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots near the people so that it can be distributed to them."

Leader of government business in Parliament, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said government was monitoring the food supply situation "to ensure that people are not hungry".

"However, the government is no longer just giving people food, but we are giving people food through Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs," he said.

"We then follow up on inputs given to see if they were put to appropriate use. The agriculture extension officers will also be helping us."

Early this week, GMB officials revealed in Parliament that the country was left with only four months supply of grain.

In December, government, however, claimed that the country has enough grain stocks to last till October this year.

Humanitarian agencies have warned that millions of Zimbabweans may need food aid this year due to the El Nino weather phenomenon which has triggered incessant rains during the current farming season.

Source - newsday