by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – GERMANY has provided €3 million (US$3,5 million) to support vulnerable communities struggling to meet their basic food needs amid the coronavirus pandemic in Zimbabwe.
The funds have been made available through the German Federal Foreign Office to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
This is part of a EUR 18 million contribution by Germany to Southern Africa for 2021-2023.
Christian Oelfke, Deputy Ambassador for the German Embassy in Harare, said the pandemic had exacerbated the food security situation, which had 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,” the envoy said.
The 2020 urban livelihoods assessment indicates 2,4 million urban dwellers, or 42 percent of the total urban population in Zimbabwe, are estimated to be food insecure.
The rural livelihoods assessment estimates 2,9 million that is approximately 27 percent of the rural households will be food insecure during the peak of lean season (Jan-March 2022).
Francesca Erdelmann, the WFP Zimbabwe director and representative said this contribution comes at a time when many are finding it increasingly difficult to secure food 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,” Erdelmann said.
Zimbabwe has confirmed 78 872 cases of COVID-19, including 2 418 deaths.
– CAJ News