By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a contribution of US$1.5 million from Russia to assist more than 100 000 people in Hwange, Nkayi and Zvishavane districts.
The three districts are some of the worst devastated by severe drought resulting food insecurity.
“This assistance represents a good example of the concerted efforts of the international community,” said Russia’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Nikolai Krasilnikov Wednesday at the handover ceremony in Harare.
“It is being implemented with the most effective management of the UN World Food Programme.
“From the Russian side it is being reinforced with the investment projects and other forms of cooperation based on the deeply rooted relations of the friendship and solidarity between Russia and Zimbabwe.
“On aggregate this assistance is to benefit the Second Republic in its sustainable socio-economic development.”
Russian’s contribution comes in the wake of a plea for funds by WFP, which is working to provide 4.1 million people in Zimbabwe with emergency food assistance.
However, more than US$104 million is still required by WFP to provide people with life-saving food aid during the peak of this year’s lean season.
“WFP’s top priority is to meet urgent humanitarian needs for millions of hungry Zimbabweans,” said Eddie Rowe, WFP Zimbabwe Country Representative and Director.
“With this generous contribution from the Russian Federation, we have been able to purchase over 1,000 metric tonnes of food to support some of the most vulnerable people in the worst hit areas of the country.
“The country is experiencing its worst hunger crisis in at least a decade and this timely support from the people of Russia will make a huge difference in the lives of families here who are trying to make it through the lean season.”
The generous contribution also included a consignment of wheat, split peas and vegetable oil.