United States Provides US$45 million in Response to Increased Food Insecurity in Zimbabwe

Food provided by USAID through WFP. Photo credit: Tatenda Macheka, WFP
Food provided by USAID through WFP. Photo credit: Tatenda Macheka, WFP

Harare, August 6, 2019 –The United States Government announced US$45 million in funding to respond to the critical food security situation in the upcoming lean season between October 2019 and March 2020 in Zimbabwe.  The contribution, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will ensure that 360,880 rural Zimbabweans have adequate food supplies before the next harvest.

United States Ambassador Brian A. Nichols announced the contribution in response to the United Nations’ (UN) Flash Appeal for humanitarian assistance during a press briefing on August 6.

“The United States remains the largest bilateral donor to emergency humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe and we are proud to be part of a coordinated response to the humanitarian situation.  We work closely with the UN and other donors to ensure that as many communities as possible are covered during this challenging time,” said Ambassador Brian A. Nichols.

The United States has allocated US$45 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food rations and cash transfers to purchase food for 360,880 Zimbabweans.  These food and cash distributions will help improve the nutrition of vulnerable Zimbabweans and alleviate suffering for those affected by food insecurity.

In addition to this emergency response, USAID’s programs are improving long-term food security for Zimbabwe by building resilience to future shocks.  USAID is providing US$164 million over seven years to address the underlying causes of chronic food insecurity and malnutrition and to strengthen agriculture and livelihoods for over a million vulnerable Zimbabweans.

In July, 2019, the United States announced an additional US$4.8 million in assistance to help victims of Cyclone Idai bringing the total contribution to US$8 million.  Today’s additional $45 million demonstrates the United States’ continued commitment to assisting the people of Zimbabwe during difficult times.

Poor weather conditions in Zimbabwe, including erratic rainfall and long dry spells, have contributed to increased humanitarian needs across the country.  An estimated 5.5 million rural Zimbabweans are facing food insecurity – 59 percent of the rural population.

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For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have contributed over $3 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.

For additional information, please contact Information Officer Stacy Lomba at HararePress@state.gov or Development Outreach and Communications Specialist Doreen Hove at dhove@usaid.gov.