Zimbabwe to benefit from British hunger alleviation donation

Zimbabwe is among beneficiaries of some 35 million British Pounds provided by the British government towards cushioning vulnerable communities against looming food shortages, especially in the Southern Africa region, through the World Food Programme and other Non Governmental Organisations.

In Zimbabwe there are early indications that the harvest will significantly be worse than last year, hence the need for interventions by ambassadors of goodwill like the British government. Over 1, 6 million people will need the food assistance.

British International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone announced the donation in Malawi recently.

She said countries across Southern Africa are facing disaster as a looming food crisis threatens to leave millions hungry.

Featherstone said the British support would save countless lives in two of the worst affected countries in the region and Zimbabwe and Malawi will not be forgotten.

“Britain will also provide 15 million pounds to Zimbabwe, including 7.5 million pounds for WFP to provide food and nutrition to over 600,000 people and 7,5 million pounds for the Food and Agriculture Organisation, to buy and distribute cattle feed, protecting the livestock and livelihoods of 343,000 people,” said Featherstone.

The programme will see Britain provide up to 17 million pounds to the WFO and a consortium of NGOs to help over 400,000 vulnerable people with food and cash transfers, up to 1.8 million pounds to WFP to provide school dinners to over 800,000 school children and some 1,2 million pounds to the same organisation to expand treatment for malnutrition, treating 18,000 malnourished children and pregnant women.

Britain with other international donor communities continues to direct aid into Zimbabwe, particularly to cushion the poor against effects of hunger and AIDS.

Zimbabwe was among major beneficiaries of international aid, before President Robert Mugabe’s dictatorial governance manifested itself to the world.

Mugabe’s tyrannical type of rule resulted in reduced international aid to Zimbabwe. However, there was continued flow of aid to humanitarian groups working on the ground in Zimbabwe, particularly targeting emergency food programs and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Britain will also provide up to 20 million pounds in food assistance to Malawi over the next twelve months.

Malawi, which was a net exporter of maize just a few years ago, has now seen stocks depleted to a quarter of its annual average after the worst harvest in seven years.

The looming food crisis in the region was partly attributed to unpredictable weather conditions and rising food prices. Maize prices have more than doubled over the past year.

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