Food relief: Govt releases 81 000t of grain to cover 2 months

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Business, Health, Local News | 0 comments

Food relief: Govt releases 81 000t of grain to cover 2 months

Staff Reporter

THE Government is ready to distribute 81 000 tonnes of grain for the next two months to vulnerable groups to ensure that every household is food secure in the face of drought.

This comes after President Mnangagwa recently declared the El Niño-induced drought a national disaster, stating that the country is mobilising US$2 billion to help millions of people who do not have enough food.

Announcing the declaration, the President said this would allow comprehensive efforts to mobilise the needed resources and reassured the nation that the Government would ensure that no person and no place would be left without sustenance.

Already, the Government has distributed more than 6 300 tonnes of grain to vulnerable communities across the country’s rural provinces.

Under a state of disaster, the Government can reallocate resources and take other emergency measures to cope.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary, Professor Obert Jiri, said about 81 000 tonnes of grain will be distributed to vulnerable groups from this month until June, adding that assessments are still ongoing to establish the vulnerability of the population in communal areas.

“The Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare has requested 71 000 tonnes of grain for January to March and the grain was not exhausted. For April, May and June they have requested 81 000 tonnes. This is not the real value since assessments are in progress. Vulnerability is high because the majority did not have a good harvest,” he said.

Priority, he added, will be given to child-headed families, the elderly, disabled and also able-bodied, who did not get meaningful harvests. An individual will get 7,5 kg of grain per month among other supplementary feeding programmes.

In a recent interview, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Mr Simon Masanga said assessments are being done to ensure that all food-insecure people are assisted. Several interventions have been implemented by the Government to ensure that households are food secure.