Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Italian government yesterday committed €250 000 to assist communities affected by Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe and the funds will be managed by the World Food Programme (WFP), which is also running related aid programmes in the country.
The latest support was announced by Italy’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe , Mr Carlo Perrotta.
“We are pleased to be able to make this contribution in partnership with WFP,” said the ambassador.
“This was especially made possible with the valued support of our Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re. In her words, ‘Cooperation — as implied by the term itself — is a way of working together for something tangible. That something is part of our future”.
WFP Zimbabwe country director Mr Eddie Rowe said many people affected by the cyclone were already considered food insecure.
He said a further 5,3 million people were currently in need of humanitarian aid countrywide following economic instability, an erratic rainy season and long mid-season dry spells that severely impacted crops.
“WFP is grateful for the generous contribution from the people of Italy, which has made it possible for vulnerable households to meet their food and nutrition needs in such difficult circumstances.
“Even in the face of disaster, WFP is working to support the achievement of a Zero Hunger Zimbabwe.
“We will continue to work with affected communities to ensure their immediate needs are met, whilst mobilising to support them as they rebuild their lives,” he said.
Mr Rowe said the contribution from Italy came at a time when they (WFP) had started a three-month programme of general food distributions to cyclone-affected populations in May.
He said they were targeting 220 000 people across five districts including; Chimanimani, Chipinge, Buhera, Mutare and Bikita.
It is estimated 250 000 people in seven districts of Zimbabwe were directly affected by Cyclone Idai, which made landfall in Zimbabwe on March 15, 2019, severely disrupting livelihoods and intensifying existing critical food security needs.