Harare has given humanitarian organizations permission to resume distribution of food aid to thousands of Zimbabweans, relief officials in the country said, but warned crippling fuel shortages and persistent rains could hold up distribution.
Aid manager Wilfred Sikhukhula of the Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency, said Harare has notified his organization to start food distribution in the hardest-hit areas in January. Core members of C-SAFE, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, include World Vision, CARE, Catholic Relief Services and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, or ADRA.
In Zimbabwe, rural district council chairman Andrew Ndebele of Chiredzi, Masvingo, a southern province that traditionally comes up short on food production, also confirmed that barriers at various levels of government to aid distribution had been removed.
Those include Gwanda and Insiza in Matabeleland South, Chiredzi and Gutu in Masvingo Province, Uzumba-Maramba -Pfungwe and Mtoko in Mashonaland East and Rushinga in Mashonaland Central.
Deputy Director Nyika Musiyazviriyo of Christian Care, one of WFP's main operating partners in Zimbabwe, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government’s clearance of operations was a very welcome development.