By Lerato Ndlovu
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced two new food security programs for Matabeleland North, Masvingo, and Manicaland provinces.
The programs will benefit nearly 490 000 Zimbabweans for the next five-years.
In a statement, USAID director, Art Brown said that the two food security programs are named Takunda and Amalima Loko derived from Shona, Ndebele and Tonga dialects meaning “coming together to overcome”.
“These two new programs will build on the United States’ investment in Zimbabwean people and tackle the root causes of food insecurity and poverty by assisting almost a half a million vulnerable Zimbabweans to transition from humanitarian assistance to resilience and self-reliance,” he said.
Takunda will empower women and youth to create sustainable livelihoods, improve agriculture practices and technology, and strengthen the governance and management of community assets and infrastructure, which will strengthen household and community resilience to shocks and stresses.
“Takunda, is a US $55 million program implemented by CARE International with the aim of empowering women and youth and strengthening governance and management of community assets. It will target more than 301,000 Zimbabweans in two districts of Masvingo province, Chivi and Zaka, and two districts in Manicaland province, Buhera and Mutare.”
Amalima Loko focuses more on agriculture so as to increase access to food , improve nutritional behaviours and educate on watershed management .
“Amalima Loko a US $75 million investment will be implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture. It will be aimed at improving food security for more than 188,000 vulnerable Zimbabweans in five districts of Matabeleland North Province: Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nkayi, Hwange, and Binga. The program will increase access to food, improve nutritional behaviors, and educate communities on sustainable watershed management.”
Since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, the American people, through USAID, have contributed over $3.2 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe.
Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and promote democratic governance.