The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has added US$41 million towards alleviating hunger and starvation in Zimbabwe following the El Nino induced drought currently hitting the country.
US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian A Nichols said the US$41.9 million is targeted at the less privileged Zimbabweans whose areas are omitted by the ever ticking clock of development.
“The United States is proud to be part of a coordinated response to the humanitarian situation.
“These contributions will enable USAID to scale up its emergency response over the coming months,” said Nichols.
He added that the United States will work with the World Food Programme to ensure that all Zimbabweans in need of assistance have access to food.
“We will work closely with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that Zimbabweans in dire need of assistance have access to lifesaving food.
“While we recognize that there is currently a need for this type of assistance, humanitarian assistance alone is not enough. The root causes of food insecurity and poverty must be tackled for Zimbabweans to end chronic food insecurity for good,” added Nichols.
He urged the Government of Zimbabwe to implement a market-based agriculture policy and eradicate corruption in its subsidy programs, which severely exacerbate the very problems of food insecurity they are purportedly intended to solve.
On August 6, the United States announced US$45 million in funding to the WFP to provide food rations and cash transfers in response to the UN Flash appeal.
Today’s additional contribution will bring the total U.S. humanitarian funding in response to the 2019/20 lean season to US$86.9 million.
This is in addition to US$15 million in emergency food security funding from the United States announced in February of this year in support of 2018/19 lean season needs under the UN Flash appeal and US$7.9 million in Cyclone Idai response funding.
All in all, these contributions bring the total U.S. contribution to emergency needs in Zimbabwe to $109.8 million in 2019 thus making the United States the largest bilateral donor to emergency humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe.