By Donald Nyarota| More than 50 000 people from 10 000 food insecure households in Masvingo province and Rushinga district are set to benefit from a US$10 million funding from two international organisations towards climate change mitigation program, lands and agriculture minister Perrence Shiri has said.
Shiri said the four-year project will reduce dependency on foreign financing and increase climate change resilience for vulnerable communities.
“This is Zimbabwe’s first concrete project to be approved by the Green Climate Fund board, that will focus on two areas Masvingo province and Rushinga district.
“The components (of project) will strengthen the capacity of Zimbabwean government to reduce, anticipate and rapidly respond to the effects of climate shocks and sustain climate resilient rural development while also gradually reducing the need of grant financing in the future,” said Shiri.
Of the US10 million, US$8. 86 million came from Green Climate Fund providing with the remainder funded by Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency.
Shiri added that the project emanated from the observation that the Zimbabwean economy is heavily reliant on rain fed agriculture thus making the livelihoods of rural communities highly vulnerable to climate change.
“This will be targeting 10 000 vulnerable food insecure households which translates to benefitting 50 000 people of which, 66% are women in Masvingo province and Rushinga district,” said Shiri.
The project will be implemented by the World Food Program in partnership with Green Climate Fund and the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency.
Some of the broader targets of the project include the strengthening of capacity and systems to support national community adaptation and management of climate risks based on climate forecasts and information.
The project will also increase the adaptive capacity of food insecure household through community based asset creation and risk transfer, as well as enhancing the investment capacity of small holder farmers to sustain climate resilience development gains.