Germany has contributed EUR 3 million to the World Food Programme to support vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe to meet basic food needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund availed through the German Federal Foreign Office, is part of a EUR 18 million contribution by Germany to Southern Africa for 2021-2023.
This contribution will be used to improve access to food and ensure that vulnerable groups within communities including refugees have access to an adequately nutritious diet in times of need, particularly during the lean season.
Deputy Ambassador for German Embassy Harare, Mr Christian Oelfke said the contribution was part of the Federal Republic of Germany´s worldwide efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has exacerbated the food security situation which has 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,” he said.
WFP Zimbabwe Country Director and representative, Ms Francesca Erdelmann said this contribution came at a time when many were finding it difficult to put food on the table 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. Most of Zimbabwe’s urban population relies heavily on informal sector livelihoods, and its closure during the lockdown period has had a detrimental impact on levels of urban food insecurity.
“While the agriculture season witnessed an improved harvest from the previous years, some areas still need support to see them through the peak hunger period.
“Refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp will struggle to make ends meet as they depend on WFP for assistance. This contribution from Germany will go a long way in assisting these vulnerable groups that need help the most,” she said.
WFP assists 326,004 people across 23 urban domains until the end of this year, with monthly cash-based transfers via e-voucher and Western Union remittance exchange. Beneficiaries receive USD 12 per person, per month to help meet their basic food needs.
Currently, WFP is assisting more than 13,500 refugees and through the Lean Season Assistance.