The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the government of Japan have partnered to provide U.S.$500,000 to assist over 6,000 vulnerable families in Gokwe, Zimbabwe.

Through the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS), the Japanese contribution will be used to provide health care, hygiene, water, sanitation, as well as food in some communities in Gokwe North and Gokwe South.

In Zimbabwe, many people are grappling with economic hardships that have been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to media reports, vulnerable families have had to borrow money, spend savings, sell productive assets, withdraw children from school, reduce non-food expenditure, sell land, beg for food, sell the last breeding stock to buy food and sell more livestock than usual.

In fact, Zimbabwe faces perennial hunger and malnutrition challenges, as millions of people struggle to access adequate food, and they do not have the capacity to afford a basic balanced diet.

Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Satoshi Tanaka said the support was expected to reach the targeted communities.

‘I hope that this support will reach the target communities as soon as possible, ensuring that they are able to meet their immediate basic needs during this humanitarian crisis, and making them more resilient in the future’, Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Satoshi Tanaka, said.

The partnership is a boost to the Red Cross’ ongoing efforts aimed at containing Covid-19 in Africa.

According to the IFRC Head of Cluster Delegation, Southern Africa, Dr Michael Charles, the pandemic uncovered challenges in communities.

‘During this period, thousands of people have lost their livelihoods. Marginalised and vulnerable communities are bearing the brunt of the devastation caused by the pandemic’, he said.

‘As the IFRC, we are immensely grateful to the Japanese government for this generous contribution. Through this partnership, we will be able to support communities to restore their livelihoods’.

The support from Japan, according to IFRC, will include the provision of solar powered boreholes, establishment of nutrition gardens, and provision of seeds and agricultural inputs in order to improve the food security of the communities as well as provide access to safe water.

In September 2020, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) commenced cash disbursements for the Urban Social Assistance programme to provide relief for vulnerable families in eight urban areas struggling to meet their daily food needs in Zimbabwe.

Source: The Herald

Photo source: Juozas Cernius/IFRC

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