By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of US$200,000 from the Government of the Republic of Korea to assist refugees living in Zimbabwe’s Tongogara Refugee Camp (TRC) at a time when resources have run dry.
“Refugee populations around the world are one of the most vulnerable,” Eddie Rowe, WFP Zimbabwe country representative said in a Friday statement.
“At a time when Zimbabwe and Southern Africa is faced with massive humanitarian needs because of drought and economic woes, this already at-risk community is struggling even more.
“The support from the people and Government of Korea will make a great difference in the lives of the refugee population here.”
Due to their refugee status, TRC residents are unable to seek employment outside the camp, and internal income-generating opportunities are limited.
This has seen most households rely solely on WFP assistance for survival.
“I hope that this assistance we are recognising today will help the people in Tongogara Refugee Camp to enhance their well-being,” Cho Jaichel, ambassador of the Republic of Korea said.
“I also hope the friendship and cooperation between our two countries will continue and strengthen further. Despite the current challenges, I strongly believe that Zimbabwe has a great potential of growth and brighter future.
“For our Zimbabwean friends, the Korean government is always ready to share our development experience.”
The Republic of Korea’s contribution comes amid an urgent plea for funds by WFP, which is working to provide 4.1 million people in Zimbabwe with emergency food assistance in the country’s current hunger crisis.
At present, more than 7.7 million people or half of Zimbabwe’s population is food insecure.
More than US$200 million is still required for WFP to provide people with life-saving food aid during the peak of this year’s lean season (Jan-April 2020).
Located in Chipinge district, TRC is home to nearly 14 000 refugees from across southern and central Africa.
The funds provided by the Republic of Korea will enable WFP in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, UNHCR and Terre des Hommes, a Southern Africa-based NGO to continue providing much-needed food and nutrition assistance.