THE Covid-19 pandemic has worsened Zimbabwe’s pre-existing socio-economic challenges, with urban centres now on the frontline of the current rise in acute hunger, the World Food Programme said Thursday.
In a statement announcing a donation of US$4.5 million from the Japanese government for emergency food assistance, WFP country director and representative Francesca Erdelmann said the pandemic had affected sources of livelihoods for many urban dwellers in the country.
“There’s no doubt about it, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated Zimbabwe’s pre-existing challenges and urban centers are now on the front lines of the current rise in acute hunger.
“Many families entirely depend upon WFP’s monthly cash transfers – which help people rebound faster into the livelihood they once had. With the valuable support of our partners such as Japan, we will continue to extend our support to cover the food needs of the most vulnerable at this critical time,” said Erdelmann.
An estimated 5.6 million people are severely food insecure in Zimbabwe, with the government estimating that about half of all urban dwellers – or roughly 2.2 million people – go to bed hungry.