SWEET NEWS: US government releases US$130 million to feed hungry Zimbabweans

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THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has unveiled two new food security programmes, Takunda and Amalima Loko, worth US$130 million, aimed at ensuring food security for up to 490 000 vulnerable people.

The five-year programmes will target Zimbabweans in drought-prone Matabeleland North, Masvingo, and Manicaland provinces.

“These two new programmes will build on the United States’ investment in Zimbabwean people and tackle the root causes of food insecurity and poverty by assisting almost a half a million vulnerable Zimbabweans to transition from humanitarian assistance to resilience and self-reliance,” USAID director Art Brown said in a statement Wednesday.

Takunda, a Shona word meaning, “We Have Overcome,” is a US$55 million programme implemented by CARE International.

It will target more than 301 000 Zimbabweans in two districts of Masvingo province, Chivi and Zaka, and two districts in Manicaland province, Buhera and Mutare.

The programme will empower women and youths to create sustainable livelihoods, improve agriculture practices and technology, and strengthen the governance and management of community assets and infrastructure, which will strengthen household and community resilience to shocks and stresses.

Amalima Loko derives its name from the Ndebele word for a group of people coming together to achieve a common goal and a Tonga word that means “genuine.”

Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture will implement this US$75 million investment to improve food security for more than 188 000 vulnerable Zimbabweans in five districts of Matabeleland North Province: Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nkayi, Hwange, and Binga.

The programme will increase access to food, improve nutritional behaviours, and educate communities on sustainable watershed management.

USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the U.S. Government’s lead coordinator for international disaster assistance, provides life-saving humanitarian assistance – such as food, water, shelter, emergency healthcare, sanitation and hygiene, and critical nutrition services – to the world’s most vulnerable people.

Since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, America has contributed over US$3,2 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe. Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and promote democratic governance.

— NewZimbabwe


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