By Staff Reporter
The Government of Japan has contributed US$ 1.25 million through the World Food Programme (WFP) to support vulnerable, food insecure communities in Zimbabwe that have been severely impacted by climate shocks and COVID-19.
To address the root causes of food insecurity and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger – WFP recognises that it is important to forge such partnerships in order to undertake long term strategies to secure a brighter future for these communities.
Japan’s contribution comes at a time when many in the country are struggling to feed themselves as a result of successive droughts and a dire economic situation which has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
Satoshi Tanaka, the Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, said that “In collaboration with WFP, the Government of Japan continues to deliver support from the people of Japan to the most vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe, focusing on improving their nutrition and building their resilience.
“We hope that this assistance will help to alleviate their hardship during the current humanitarian crisis, and make them more resilient to climate shocks in the future”.
WFP Country Director and Representative, Francesca Erdelmann, noted that the Government of Japan is one of WFP’s largest donors and their assistance would go a long way.
“This contribution will enable Zimbabwean communities to move out of food insecurity and towards sustainable livelihoods.
“It will not only provide immediate access to food support for the most vulnerable, but will also sustainably address the long-term food security of rural communities by rehabilitating and building productive community assets such as small weir dams, nutrition gardens, cattle dip tanks and fish ponds.
It will also go towards training the assisted communities in the management of these assets and in skills such as financial literacy, among others”, she added.
The support from Japan will assist 11,080 people in building community and household assets in the districts of Mount Darwin and Matobo.
As well as small dams, fish ponds, dip tanks, and irrigated vegetable gardens and orchards, assets include improved fields through water conservation activities, such as by filling gullies, making terraces or soil bunds, and planting trees.
It will help to advance WFP’s shared efforts to protect and improve the food security of the women, girls, boys and men in Zimbabwe.
For many years, Japan has contributed to food assistance and community resilience-building activities for vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe through WFP, with over US$ 23 million provided in funding since 2019.
It has also supported much-needed nutrition for expectant mothers staying at the Government of Zimbabwe’s Maternity Waiting Homes across the country.
In February this year, Japan contributed US$ 4.5 million to WFP’s Urban Food Security and Resilience-Building Programme, which is providing vulnerable and food insecure households in urban areas with monthly electronic vouchers (e-vouchers) for food.