Zimbabwe to temporarily suspend food distribution to allow re-targeting

Ghana Reduced Hunger and Malnutrition

The Zimbabwean government will temporarily suspend grain distribution to vulnerable people at the end of this month to allow a re-targeting exercise to be conducted soon, a cabinet minister has said.

The re-targeting exercise would be done in collaboration with development partners upon release of results of the upcoming Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) Rural Livelihoods survey, Public Service Labor and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said on Thursday.

He said the re-targeting exercise is a way of reducing unnecessary cost and is also premised on the basis that the 2020/21 farming season received normal to above normal rainfall, which will lead to improved grain output.

“During this re-targeting exercise, drought relief committees are expected to respond to distress calls only and those that really need food assistance after a thorough assessment,” said the minister.

The re-targeting exercise, the minister added, would enable the government to revert to the stipulated cycle of food deficit mitigation strategy.

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“My ministry in collaboration with development partners has already embarked on an exercise to review the tools that will be used during the re-targeting of eligible beneficiaries and the overall implementation of the program,” Mavima said.

Due to the effects of a drought last year and the impact of COVID-19, the Zimbabwean government has been reaching out to 735,455 households requiring 36,773 tonnes of grain per month.Current beneficiaries were selected using the 2016 ZIMVAC results.

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