Japan Supports Rural Zimbabweans Affected By Seasonal Shocks
This article was sponsored by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Japan.
The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Japan are pleased to announce the finalisation of a resilience-building programme in the district of Mount Darwin.
The USD 1.25 million contributions provided by Japan in March 2021, has empowered up to 2,200 vulnerable households (approximately 11,000 individuals) in Mount Darwin and Matobo districts to enhance their food and nutrition security and find community solutions to seasonal shocks.
At a community ceremony held today in Kanyoka (ward 11), Mount Darwin, WFP and partners officially handed over completed assets to the community.
The event attracted high-level participation from the Minister of Provincial Affairs for Mashonaland Central Province, the Hon. Monica Mavhunga; the Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, H.E Mr Satoshi Tanaka; WFP Deputy Country Director Ms Christine Mendes; and World Vision, Operations Manager Mr Amon Matsongoni.
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“Food Security is one of the main priorities of National Development Strategy One, and the contribution from the Government of Japan through WFP will assist in reaching this goal and making sure no one is left behind,” said Hon. Mavhunga. “The Government of Zimbabwe appreciated such partnerships since they seek to achieve the objectives of the strategy.”
Through WFP’s Food Assistance for Assets Programme (FFA), members of the Kanyoka community have successfully built and rehabilitated several collective assets, including a community garden, feeder roads, keyhole gardens, solar water pumps, fencing, and fuel-efficient stoves.
They have also received training in topics such as environmental management and improved harvest practices, thereby strengthening their skills and capacities for the future.
FFA not only provides immediate access to food through the provision of food assistance for the most vulnerable but also sustainably addresses rural communities’ long-term food security by enhancing their resilience to meet their own food needs.
In addressing the Kanyoka community, H.E. Mr Satoshi Tanaka said that “climate change is serious and unfortunately is here to stay, as shown by the successive drought years you have experienced in the last decade. That’s why it is essential for communities like yours to become even more resilient. The new assets you have created will help you do this.”
WFP Deputy Country Director, Christine Mendes said WFP is working closely with partners to address vulnerabilities among rural communities.
“Japan has generously contributed USD 5.8 million to the FFA programme since 2017,” she said. “Together, we have been able to reach up to 12,800 households, approximately 64,000 people across the six districts of Chiredzi, Hwange, Mudzi, Rushinga, Matobo and Mount Darwin. This has helped to address both short and longer-term food insecurity among people impacted by consecutive years of drought and shocks like COVID-19.”
FFA interventions are being implemented in districts that are regarded as chronically food insecure.
After several years of participating in the programme, communities such as Kanyoka are more equipped with the tools and skills they need to be self-sustainable.
The programme, however, remains underfunded despite the positive impacts.
Since 2012, WFP and partners have supported communities to develop up to 2 000 community-based assets across thirty districts in Zimbabwe.