Food Aid distribution to be discontinued as funding dries up

MATOPO – Humanitarian non governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Matabeleland South province have announced to villagers that distribution of food aid will be discontinued at the end of this month owing to low funding for their operations.

International appeals have not been met due to the global financial crunch and humanitarian organisations will as a result be forced to cut short food hand-outs.

Villagers who spoke to sources said Word Vision and Christian Care have indicated that food aid distribution will end this month-end.

“World Vision has informed everyone who is getting food aid that they will stop distribution by the end of March this year but this is too soon as they normally stop food aid distribution around end of May,” said Peter Sibanda, a villager from Matopo.

Sibanda said villagers in the area delayed planting their crops due to a shortage of maize seed and other farming inputs.

Matopo Agenda, a civil society operating in the area also announced in alerts it sent out this week that the two NGOs were stopping food aid in the province.

“This month they will distribute the last batch of food hampers to the villagers. These NGOs which include World Vision and Christian Care, normally stop offering food aid between March and May every year because people would have started harvesting from their fields.

“However concerns have been raised that the months of April and May might be difficult ones for the villagers as the produce in their fields is not yet ready for harvesting,” Matopo Agenda said in the alert.

Most areas in the province received good rains this year compared to previous years, most villagers however delayed commencing their farming activities due to a shortage of inputs.

International donor agencies say at least five million Zimbabweans are dependant on donor aid.

Matopo Agenda is a chapter of Bulawayo Agenda, a civil society organisation which deals with advocacy and democracy issues and is committed to providing a platform for people to express their views and to engage and debate on issues that affect their lives.

It has active chapters in Gweru, Gwanda, Plumtree, Victoria Falls, Matopo, Hwange, Binga, Nkayi, Lupane, Tsholotsho, Masvingo and Mutare.