USAID steps up to aid Zimbabwean communities battered by El Niño drought

Staff Writer

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a US$3 million grant to CARE Zimbabwe in a move to bolster food security efforts in Zimbabwe.

The funds will target 25,000 people in the Bikita district of Masvingo province, one of the areas hardest hit by the El Niño-induced drought.

According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment 2023 Report, 2.7 million people in the country are in dire need of food assistance.

The El Niño-induced drought is projected to result in livelihood loss, water scarcity, and disruption of social protection services. An estimated 26.4% of children under five years of age are facing malnutrition and stunted growth.

CARE Zimbabwe will implement the grant through the Tayambuka Project. Tayambuka is the Shona word for the expression of “we have prevailed over.” The project will target ten wards in Bikita district to strengthen the resilience of 25,000 people.

“The project takes a multifaceted approach to tackle these challenges. It combines in-kind food assistance with the implementation of Food for Assets (FFA) programs. FFA focuses on strengthening community physical and natural assets to enhance resilience and reduce vulnerabilities to future shocks and stresses. Tayambuka will address the gaps in food consumption in 5,000 vulnerable households, each with an average of five members,” CARE Zimbabwe Country Director Patrick Sikana said.

Each household will receive six months’ worth of in-kind food assistance comprising 50 kilograms of sorghum cereal, 10 kilograms of Pinto Beans, and 3.75 kilograms of vegetable oil. This quantity is specifically designed to meet 75 percent of the average daily calorie requirement of 2,100 calories for each household member. Concurrently, CARE will also conduct FFA initiatives.

CARE Zimbabwe’s investment in adaptation and strengthening of community resilience is also helping to protect livelihood gains and combat climate change.

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