Harare -The Zimbabwe government says it has put in place an active response to food and nutrition insecurity in rural areas where it will support 5.4 million vulnerable people.
Local media reports on Monday quoted the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, as saying that after the 2019 Cyclone Idai and the COVID-19 outbreak, the government had increased its support to vulnerable groups.
“In spite the natural disasters experienced by the country such as droughts, Cyclone Idai and COVID-19, Government has put in place an active response to the prevailing food and nutrition insecurity among rural livelihoods.
“The government had increasing its support to 76 per cent in 2020, up from 73 per cent in 2019,” the minister was quoted as saying by The Herald newspaper.
“This is mainly through supporting the vulnerable groups by distributing food aid and cash transfers, removing restrictions on food importation such as the removal of import duty on maize and wheat, and cooking oil, among other basic commodities,” Mutsvangwa added.
She said the government had put in place food subsidies through continued implementation of social protection measures.
Mutsvangwa recognised the role played by development partners, but said the government remains the biggest contributor in ensuring food security.
“Government has also remained the major source of crop inputs and food support, contributing 48 per cent in that regard.
“Development partners’ support has also increased from the traditional 13 per cent to 33 per cent.
“The combination of efforts by government and development partners has seen the majority of districts receiving food aid to support the population ZIMVAC has projected to be food insecure,” she said, referring to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee.