Zvamaida Murwira, in New York, USA
The World Food Programme, working with its development partners, has escalated efforts to mobilise financial resources aimed at providing food aid so as to mitigate the effects of drought-induced hunger in Zimbabwe, an official has said.
WFP executive director, Mr David Beasley said the United Nations food relief agency was mobilising resources to feed affected people, particularly those in rural areas who were the most affected.
Mr Beasley said this here on Tuesday soon after paying a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly underway in New York.
“Zimbabwe cannot only feed itself but it can feed the whole world. It is a great nation and has many opportunities. We will put together major financial operations to help people throughout Zimbabwe to make sure we have food security with smallholder farmers and help those that have been impacted by the drought. We look forward to a lot of good things happening in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Beasley.
The meeting was attended by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo.
WFP and its development partners have in the past months been working with Zimbabwe to address growing humanitarian needs in the country following the launch of a revised flash appeal last month.
According to its estimate, more than US$331 million is required to feed more than 5,7 million people countrywide between now and April next year.
The meeting with Mr Beasley in New York was also meant to enable the diplomat to brief President Mnangagwa on the several efforts and achievements they had registered in mobilising resources.
It was one of the several meetings, Mr Beasley had in last few months with the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Last month, Mr Beasley met President Mnangagwa to give him an update after another meeting in Davos, which ensured that the Zimbabwean leader was always seized with latest information on WFP efforts to mobilise the required resources.
Mr Beasley said the revised appeal co-launched by the Government and the United Nations (UN) showed commitment to move forward providing support to Zimbabwe during these distressful times.
President Mnangagwa has since declared the El-Nino induced drought a national disaster in order to activate local and international agencies to mobilise the required resources.