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100k urban households in urgent need of food assistance – WPF

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

ATLEAST 30 percent of urban households in Zimbabwe are cereal insecure and in need of urgent food assistance with 77% of the homes living below the Food Poverty Line.

This is according to a statement Friday by the World Food Programme (WFP.

“Approximately 93% of the households are below the Total Consumption Poverty Line,” WFP said.

In response to the urban food insecurity, WFP has scaled up its Urban Social Assistance pilot programme to target 100,000 food insecure households in eight domains.

These are Epworth, Harare South, Norton, Marondera, Rusape, Mutare, Bulawayo and Masvingo.

“The objective of the pilot is to provide access to food through a social safety net to ‘at-risk’ households affected by challenges associated with socio-economic risks, vulnerabilities and poverty in urban and peri-urban areas of Zimbabwe,” said WFP.

“The pilot will run for one year. In addition to provision of food assistance through Cash Based Transfers, this will be accompanied by resilience-building interventions to promote the well-being of vulnerable households in the urban areas and their ability to cope with shocks and stressors in future.

“Implementation of resilience-building interventions will start in the first quarter of 2020 upon completion of the baseline exercise to identify the activities through community and stakeholder engagement.”

The food basket will comprise of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil and children under 5 years will receive the nutritious Super Cereal.

A total requirement from December to June is US$293 million and WFP has made a passionate appeal to both the traditional donors and the new donors for contributions to help the organisation to reach the most food insecure households with food assistance in a timely manner.

“Such assistance will go a long way in ensuring that the most vulnerable households do not engage in negative coping mechanisms,” it said.