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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Govt donates maize to World Food Programme

Story by Cordelia Ngara

THE Government of Zimbabwe has contributed 4,400 metric tonnes of maize grain to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to meet the food needs of refugees living at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge.

The development follows a commitment made by His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in response to the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’ call for pledges towards humanitarian assistance.

“We have international obligations so we have agreed at international level to host refugees in this country.  Like the President said, no one should ever die of hunger in this country, it also includes 16 000 refugees at Tongogara. I want to put it on record that the government remains committed to improving the welfare of refugees at Tongogara,” noted the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Simon Masanga.

Under the partnership, WFP will cover the costs of transport, storage, handling, milling and fortification of the maize.

“We are together to formalise the government’s donation to the United Nations World Food Programme of 4,400 Metric tonnes of maize grain for refugees living in Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge,” noted the WFP Representative and Country Director in Zimbabwe, Ms Francesca Erdelmann.

“WFP thanks the Government of Zimbabwe for this contribution which offers an important lifeline to this vulnerable population. Around the world, refugees are living further away from home, more than ever before, so we are heartened to see that countries like Zimbabwe are putting forward solutions and working to ensure that refugees have a better life.”

“Thanks to the maize contribution from the Government of Zimbabwe, refugees will receive monthly transfers of micronutrient fortified maize meal complemented with cash, aiming to meet their daily nutrition requirements.”

“The in-kind maize contribution will be twinned with WFP funds to cover the cost of transport, storage, handling, milling and distribution. The first batch of some 2,170 MTs will be uplifted in the upcoming weeks,” she added.

Zimbabwe has shown continued support towards refugees, hosting families that have been forced to leave their countries since 1984.

Initially established to serve refugees fleeing the Mozambique civil war, Tongogara Refugee Camp is today home to people affected by conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, northern Mozambique and other countries.

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