The United States government on Thursday provided Zimbabwe with an additional $10 million in response to the worsening food situation in the country.
Speaking at the formal handover of the donation to the World Food Program in Harare on Thursday, U.S ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry K. Thomas Jnr said President Barack Obama’s government was committed to helping vulnerable Zimbabweans.
America’s top diplomat in Zimbabwe said his government would ensure that food aid reached the needy. This comes at a time when some members of the opposition have accused authorities of distributing food rations along partisan lines.
The World Food Program’s country director for Zimbabwe, Eddie Rowe, welcomed the assistance from the American people. Since June last year to date, America has provided $35 million to Zimbabwe towards drought relief. Rowe said the financial assistance provided by the American government would be used to target three more districts namely Chipinge in Manicaland province, Mangwe in Matabeleland North and Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe in Mashonaland Central.
He added that operations would also be scaled up in eight other districts currently receiving assistance. These are Zvishavane, Mudzi, Hwange, Binga, Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Kariba and Mbire.
Meanwhile, the Food and Nutrition Council director, George Kembo who is also the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC), said the El Nino-induced drought was worsening in the country.
Kembo said government was working hard to ensure that all farmers received training in climate change to ensure that the country would be prepared in the future when climate change affects agricultural productivity.
ZimVAC says poor weather conditions in the country, including erratic rainfall and long dry spells, have contributed to large-scale crop failure and livestock deaths across. It says an estimated 2.8 million rural Zimbabweans are currently facing food insecurity.
The government says it has 100,000 tonnes of food reserves to last the country for the next three months.