Only 6% of Zim households received grain support from govt – Survey

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By Alois Vinga

THE latest Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey (PICES) has established that just 6% of households countrywide received free grain from the government in a revelation which calls for deeper interventions to assist the needy.

The study which monitors households’ welfare situation in the country says the safety nets introduced by the government in most cases did not surpass 10%.

The El Nino induced drought has prompted a much higher need for more grain support to the locals proceeding into the year.

While donor agencies have concluded that 2 million citizens are in urgent need of support, the government has maintained that there is enough grain in store to feed everyone.

“At the national level, 6 percent of households received free grain while 1 percent of the households received cash transfers other than Covid 19.

“In rural areas, the proportion of households who received food assistance was 9 % while in urban areas received no food assistance. The proportion of females receiving food assistance was 7% compared to 6% for males,” the survey said.

The survey also established that all basic commodities were readily available in urban areas with at least 85%t of respondents confirming availability while in rural areas availability of beef was only 43%.

In urban areas, the ability to buy maize meal decreased from 73% in round 9 to 68%. Further, the proportion of households that were able to buy cooking oil remained at 75% in both round 10 and round 9. The proportion of households that were able to buy chicken increased from 64% in round 9 to 69% in round 10

“At national level, about 83 percent of the transactions on key food purchases were in US dollars. The use of US dollars on key food purchases transactions was higher in rural areas (85.6 percent) than in urban areas (80.1 percent),” said the survey.