Government of Japan has availed US$2.9 million to alleviate the plight of Zimbabwean people affected by drought ravaging the country.
The food assistance implemented under the Japanese emergence grant was provided through the World Food Programme’ s (WFP) Productive Asset Creation (PAC) project.
WFP’s PAC programme seeks to promote long term food security whereby communities create viable assets such as dams to irrigate community gardens.
Speaking on the side-lines of the Weir construction site visit in Zvishavane, Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Yoshinori Hiraishi said his government remains committed to alleviate poverty in Zimbabwe.
“Our common objective is to free people from dependency on free donations of food, but rather give them the means to sustainably produce their own so as to mitigate against unforeseen shocks,”
Under the productive Asset Creation 2000 households are accessing monthly food distributions over a six month period.
Ambassador Hiraishi added, “I encourage all local people to fully utilise this small dam. Once works are completed, we encourage you to scale up irrigation development and establish the planned Nutrition gardens to supplement your diets with fresh garden produce for nutritional diversity.”
He said building resilience is key to achieving sustainable development and a brighter future free from hunger.
Several drought conditions induced by El Nino in the 2015 and 2016 agricultural seasons have had a profoundly negative impact on food security in the entire country
Speaking at the same event WFP Country Director, Eddie Rowe applauded the gesture by the Japanese government saying the aid will go a long way in transforming the lives of Zvishavane villagers.
“Addressing both the root causes and consequences of hunger is critical to long-term food security and sustainable development. The Government of Japan’s generous contribution allows WFP to support people beyond their immediate needs, helping them build a better future where even the most vulnerable can thrive under a changing climate. Our utmost gratitude to Japan for their valuable support,” said Rowe.
The support by Japan was realised in response to government’s 2016-17 Drought Disaster Domestic and International Appeal for Assistance.
Zvishavane has been identified as being one of the worst affected districts in the country.
Through the Productive Asset Creation (PAC) programme, the World Food Programme is implementing a two-fold approach to help people meet immediate food needs while also building their resilience to future shocks over time, so that food and nutrition security is no longer an elusive goal.