Aid agencies move food relief to UMP

UMP - The United Methodist Committee on Relief (Umcor) and World Food Programme (WFP) has rolled out a seasonal targeted food assistance programme which will mitigate the effects of drought and food insecurity of at least 1,8 million people in Zimbabwe.

The programme, which was rolled out in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) on Tuesday, will avail food relief until March 2014.

Tendai Matemadombo, Umcor programme coordinator, said their target group were those who had no other means of getting food as well as the chronically ill, disabled, child-headed families and elderly-headed families.

“UMP is in a very dry part of the country which receives very little rainfall. Most of the households here do not have any means of getting food,” he said.

Under the scheme, beneficiaries will receive 5kg maize, 2kgs peas and 400ml of cooking oil per individual every month until March 2014.

Tomson Phiri, WFP communications officer said although the rations  brought relief, they were not enough as they had to be reduced owing to constraints.

“Despite generous contributions from USA, UK, Australia, Japan and the EU, there are not enough funds to fully implement the programme so we are distributing half size rations,” Phiri said.

The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Zimvac) has since identified UMP as a district in dire need of food assistance.

Speaking on the sidelines of the food donation ceremony, Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, minister of State for Provincial Affairs, said the food aid would go a long way in averting hunger in the district.

“The fact that we are in region 4 means the rainfall pattern is bad and people cannot always grow their own food and this programme addresses the fundamentals, which is the combating of hunger,” Mudarikwa said.

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