By Staff Reporter
THE Japanese government has availed US$450 000 to four food-insecure districts in Zimbabwe for the provision of life-saving nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) set to benefit thousands of women and children.
The four identified districts, Binga in Matabeleland North, Buhera in Manicaland, Chiredzi in Masvingo, and Masvingo Rural were also affected by the recent drought and floods.
The funds will be coordinated by UNICEF in collaboration with the government and it will particularly focus on vulnerable women and children.
Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Toshiyuki Iwado said during a crisis, women, and children in rural areas were the most affected.
“During times of humanitarian crisis, it is women and children in rural areas who find themselves the most vulnerable, and yet women are the ones who grow and cook food, and children are the future of the country,” he said.
“This assistance will help at-risk women and children so that they have the nutrition, health, water, and sanitation that they need during this critical time.”
Through nutrition interventions, 95 000 children will be screened for malnutrition with 3 400 expected to be treated.
In addition, 6 700 expectant and new mothers will receive training on preparing safe and healthy food.
HIV/AIDS interventions will reach 2 400 vulnerable children, expectant mothers, through established networks to support them with information and skills on healthy coping strategies.
Additionally, lifesaving WASH interventions will enable 10 000 children to have access to clean water by constructing or rehabilitating water points at 25 schools. The children will also be taught about hygienic and healthy living practices.
UNICEF representative in Zimbabwe, Laylee Moshiri said they were grateful to the Japanese government for the ongoing support to children and communities in Zimbabwe.
“UNICEF is very grateful to the Japanese government for their ongoing support to the children and communities of Zimbabwe. As we now focus on tackling the COVID-19 crisis across the world, we must not slow our efforts in ensuring that women and children receive quality nutrition, HIV/AIDS support and access to safe water in Zimbabwe,” said Moshiri.