|US ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols with President Emmerson Mnangagwa|
The United States has committed an additional $10 million to help Zimbabwe fight the spreading coronavirus, and the money will be allocated to the World Food Programme (WFP) which is feeding nearly 100 000 food-insecure people in the country in eight urban areas.
In a statement released on June 16 by the United State embassy public affairs section, the country reiterates its commitment to help the people of Zimbabwe through their most difficult times.
The latest funding, released through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) brings the total amount of money committed by the world’s largest economy to Zimbabwe to over $18 million.
USAID alone has provided nearly $15 million while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided $3 million, with PEPFAR reprograming $150,000 since the virus reached Zimbabwe.
“Through this $10 million in new funding, USAID will collaborate with WFP to address increasing food insecurity in urban areas. In September 2019, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) determined that more than 2.2 million Zimbabweans in urban areas face food insecurity as a result of rising food prices.
“In May 2020, WFP estimated that this number had increased by as much as one million people as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, which further constrained the economy and severely affected Zimbabweans whose livelihoods depend on the informal sector. This funding will ensure that nearly 100,000 people in eight urban districts have access to cash transfers that will ensure adequate food supplies between July and December 2020,” reads part of the statement, quoting US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols.
USAID’s emergency assistance to urban areas complements the more than $110 million that the agency provided to rural areas in 2019, which reached more than 1.8 million rural Zimbabweans across 22 districts.
Despite political and policy differences with Zimbabwe’s leaders since year 2000, the United States remains the largest donor to the country, providing billions of dollars for the country’s health and food sectors over the past 20 years.