The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWE will benefit from a US$2.7 million grant that has been extended by the Japanese Government for food aid and assets creation initiatives for the next 12 months through the World Food Programme.
The money will enable WFP to support approximately 28 500 people across 24 districts. Speaking during the handover ceremony in Mount Darwin last week, WFP country representative and director Mr Eddie Rowe said the money will ensure that the gains made in supporting food insecure communities are maintained.
“The timely funding from Japan this year, received in times of great need, have been crucial to WFP’s operational capacity amid two climate-related disasters. This new contribution will ensure that the progress we have made is not lost, but rather that these communities continue to build their resilience for the future,” he said.
Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Amb Toshiyuki Iwado said his Government will continue to provide support to needy people.
“Japan will continue to provide support so that the basic needs of the rural communities are met, especially those of women and children,” he said.
Amb Iwado also said that the project extended to Zimbabwe would contribute to Japan’s goal of promoting gender equality, by providing nutritional support to women and children. Japan’s support has also enabled the construction of weir dams and nutrition gardens, mainly in Manicaland, Matabeleland North and South, and Mashonaland Central provinces, as well as providing much-needed nutritional support to expectant mothers at maternity waiting homes across the country.
The latest support brings to US$3.5 million, being the total money Japan has disbursed to support various humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe this year. Last year, Japan availed more than US$1 million that benefited at least 130 000 families across the country in drought and flood prone areas.